Health officials are investigating a case of acute hepatitis A at a Circle K store in Orono.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention says an employee of the Circle K convenience store at 2 Stillwater Avenue in Orono has been diagnosed with acute hepatitis A. Epidemiologists have determined that store customers may be at risk for contracting the virus if they ate food prepared while the individual was working. The employee handled food that was sold in the store on the following dates: March 6th to the 9th; March 13th to the 16th; and March 20th to the 21st, 2021.

Health experts with the Maine CDC say anyone who thinks they may have been exposed should contact their healthcare provider and get a hepatitis A vaccine within 14 days of their potential exposure, which is the window in which it will be effective. Anyone who doesn't get the vaccine within that window is encouraged to watch for symptoms and seek medical attention if they become sick.

Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Jaundice
  • Nausea
  • Clay-colored stool
  • Dark urine
  • Malaise
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Anorexia
  • Vomiting

Hepatitis A virus is found in the blood and feces of an infected person, and is typically transmitted through consumption of contaminated food or water. People may exhibit symptoms 15-50 days after exposure to the virus, which is considered infectious approximately two weeks prior to the onset of symptoms and for a week after symptoms appear.

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