August 16, 2002
HEALTH DEPARTMENT TO OFFER IMMUNE GLOBULIN SHOTS
TO RECENT GUESTS OF DURHAM HOTEL
Charlotte, NC – The Mecklenburg County Health Department will offer hepatitis A immune globulin to recent visitors of a Durham, NC, hotel after an employee there was diagnosed with hepatitis A. A food service worker at the Homewood Suites at 3600 Mount Moriah Road in Durham has been diagnosed with the disease. Anyone who ate food or drank iced beverages from the complimentary breakfast bar or the manager’s reception at this hotel between July 29- August 2, August 5, August 8-9, and August 12- 13 may have been exposed to hepatitis A. Concerned individuals in Mecklenburg County should call the Health Department: 704-336-6438, 704-336-5498 or 704-336-5398.
The immune globulin shots are offered at no cost through the Health Department.
Immune globulin can prevent hepatitis A when given within two weeks after exposure. It is not useful for persons who already have symptoms of hepatitis A or for those whose exposure was longer than two weeks ago. Those who have received one dose of hepatitis A vaccine at least one month prior to exposure do not need immune globulin.
Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by infection from the hepatitis A virus. Good personal hygiene and sanitation can prevent hepatitis A. Vaccines are available for long-term prevention of infection from hepatitis A. Immune globulin is used for short-term prevention and after possible exposure to the virus.
Symptoms of hepatitis A include jaundice, fatigue, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea, fever and diarrhea. Hepatitis A is usually spread person-to-person through what is called the fecal-oral route. That is, putting something in the mouth that has been contaminated with the feces of an infected person. Spread of hepatitis A can be prevented by washing your hands with soap and warm water after using the bathroom, changing diapers and handling or eating food.