Officials: Hepatitis A case identified in Morimoto Asia restaurant worker; vaccines encouraged

A hepatitis A infection has been identified in a food service worker at the Morimoto Asia restaurant at Walt Disney World's Disney Springs complex, the Florida Department of Health said Wednesday evening.

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Officials said people who consumed any food or beverages at the restaurant from Nov. 6 through Nov. 16 might have been exposed to the virus.

The agency said patrons who experience the following infection symptoms should promptly seek medical attention: sudden abdominal discomfort, dark urine, fever, diarrhea and jaundice, which is the yellowing of skin and eyes.

"Hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin (IG) may provide protection against the disease if given within two weeks after exposure," DOH spokesman Kent Donahue said. "Therefore, those who consumed food or beverage at the restaurant between Nov. 6, 2018, and Nov. 19, 2018, should promptly contact their healthcare provider to receive vaccination."

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People who have had hepatitis A or previously received two doses of hepatitis A vaccine do not need to be immunized for hepatitis A again, Donahue said.

The agency said it is also offering the hepatitis A vaccine for free to uninsured Orange County residents at the following locations by appointment:

6101 Lake Ellenor Drive, Orlando, FL 32809 (for ages 19 and older only)
(407) 723-5054

832 W. Central Blvd., Orlando, FL 32805
(407) 858-1444

Officials said the county has seen an increase in hepatitis A cases since June 2018. They said the current number of cases of locally-transmitted hepatitis A infections in Orange County is almost 5000% greater than the previous 5-year average of 1.4 cases per year.

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Concerned customers may call 877-404-3821 to leave their information and a call-back number, or they may call DOH's epidemiology program at 407-858-1420 for further information.

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