Hawaii’s Hepatitis-A Outbreak Is Among the Worst in Decades

Employees clean the Genki Sushi conveyor belt restaurant chain Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016, in Aiea, Hawaii. The Hawaii State Department of Health Sanitation said Tuesday that Genki Sushi is being ordered to close its 10 restaurants on Oahu and one on Kauai after state authorities identified its raw scallops as the probable source of a hepatitis A outbreak. The disease can cause fever, loss of appetite and other symptoms. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)

The Hawaii State Health Department ordered the immediate closure of nearly a dozen locations of the restaurant chain Genki Sushi on the islands of Oahu and Kauai amid the state’s worst Hepatitis-A outbreak in decades.

Officials have confirmed 168 cases of the virus since June, including dozens of people who required hospitalization, saying imported frozen scallops served raw at Genki Sushi are likely to blame. The scallops were imported from the Philippines, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, and distributed by the Honolulu-based wholesale company Koha Oriental Foods.

A Hepatitis-A outbreak of this scale is unusual but not unprecedented in recent decades. In 2003, 565 people were sickened in Pennsylvania after eating contaminated green onions at a Chi-Chi’s Mexican restaurant. Three people died as a result. That same year, 297 cases of Hepatitis  A recorded in Georgia were also linked to contaminated green onions. In 2013, 162 people across 10 states got Hepatitis A after eating products containing tainted pomegranate seeds.


Scallop dredge catch (Wikimedia_Commons)

This article was originally published on www.theatlantic.com Read the original here.

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