SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2016

New Hampshire Department of Health concludes hepatitis A response

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health Services announced on Thursday that it has completed its response to a case of hepatitis A in a food service worker.

The case came from an adult from Hillsborough County who worked at two locations in Contoocook: the Covered Bridge Restaurant and the American Legion. Since discovery of this food worker's case of hepatitis A, a total of 1,114 people received prophylaxis.

"This was a quick and thorough response to a public health incident and I want to thank everyone involved for all their hard work and commitment to the people of New Hampshire," Dr. José Montero, the director of Public Health at DHHS, said. "Unfortunately practice makes perfect and we have been through events like this before so overall things went very well, but it was still a huge undertaking. I want to extend my appreciation to all the local responders, the Capital Area Public Health Network, the management of the Covered Bridge Restaurant and the American Legion, the employees of DHHS who worked on this outbreak, the Northern New England Poison Control Center, and everyone else who helped out for their professionalism and dedication."

The people who ate at the establishments between July 20 and August 3 were found and recommended to be given either the vaccine or immune globulin. The DHHS is asking that anyone who falls into this category and did not receive treatment head to a medical professional for a vaccine.

"This is a good time to remind people that personal hygiene is critical in protecting us from foodborne illness," Montero said. "Hand washing is the most important step we should all take but also not touching ready-to-eat food with bare hands is a state rule for food service workers. If you are sick, stay home from work to avoid giving your illness, hepatitis A or anything else, to others. These are good practices we should all be following."