Many people are aware of the fact that Hepatitis is an easily contractible disease; there are five forms of it: A, B, C, D, and E. Shoppers on the Upper West Side are fearful today of a possible Hepatitis A outbreak stemming from a local grocery store.
The scare began when the grocery store found out that one of their employees who prepares food recently contracted Hepatitis A. The supermarket immediately put out a notice to all customers to take precaution. Customers are also being suggested to get Hepatitis A vaccinations to prevent the disease from forming.
According to this article by NBC the New York City health department said that customers who ate chopped food, such as fruits, from the Westside Market on Broadway are particularly at risk. The period during which buyers might have contracted the disease is from August 9th to August 22nd.
Hepatitis A is spread by consuming food that has been contaminated with traces of fecal matter from a person infected with the disease. The main fruits that might have been contaminated at the market are watermelon, pineapples and coconut which were sold in plastic containers. The store estimates that it sells about one hundred ready to eat containers of fruit a day thus the possible number of people infected with the disease is quite substantial. The rest of the fruit containers that could be at risk have been destroyed at this time.
There are numerous symptoms of Hepatitis A that consumers should look out for: jaundice, fatigue, abdominal pain, nausea, and diarrhea. The disease often goes undetected at first because people do not experience symptoms until a month after they have been infected. But the city health department is urging people to get vaccinated because if vaccinated within fourteen days of exposure the disease can be prevented from taking form.