Health Officials Warn Of Possible Hepatitis A Exposure By Street Vendor In Lancaster

LANCASTER (CBSLA.com) — A street fruit vendor in Lancaster has been diagnosed with hepatitis A, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Anyone who brought fruit from the vendor could have been exposed to the communicable disease, health officials warned Monday.

The vendor was working at the corner of West Avenue L at 20th Street West.

The infectious disease may have been transmitted between Aug. 15-22, according to a press release.

Hepatitis A is transmitted fecal-orally, person to person or through other items such as food, health officials said.

Symptoms of acute hepatitis A include fever, malaise, dark urine, anorexia, nausea and abdominal discomfort, followed by jaundice.

Customers who ate fruit sold by the vendor should get an immune globulin shot or hepatitis A vaccination within the next week, health officials advised.

The Antelope Valley Public Health Center at 335-B East Avenue K6 in Lancaster will offer free vaccinations beginning Tuesday.

The Antelope Valley outbreak may be related to hepatitis A outbreaks in San Diego and Santa Cruz, said the county’s interim health officer, Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser.

“We are actively investigating this situation. It is important that anyone who may have bought or consumed fruit from this vendor during the period of August 15 through August 22 should contact their doctor to discuss possible hepatitis A prevention and treatment options,” said Gunzenhauser.  “Those who purchased this product should discard any remaining fruit if still found in their home.”

In San Diego, additional portable hand-washing stations were installed last week in an effort to stem an outbreak of Hepatitis A on the city’s homeless camps downtown.

The virus has killed 15 people and sent more than 260 people to hospitals in San Diego.

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