Long Beach city officials as of Monday have confirmed eight cases of hepatitis A in an outbreak tied to a local steakhouse.
The city’s health department on Friday announced that customers who ate at the 555 East American Steakhouse in downtown Long Beach on or around Dec. 24, may have been exposed to hepatitis A, which was confirmed in “several” individuals who ate at the restaurant.
On Monday, Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services spokeswoman Jennifer Gonzalez said eight people have contracted the highly infectious disease. She said she could not confirm how many of them were hospitalized.
Hepatitis A infects the liver and is transmitted person-to-person via fecal-oral route or through consumption of food or water that’s been contaminated. Symptoms in adults include fatigue, a weak appetite, stomach ache, dark urine, nausea, and jaundice, the health department said. Patients typically experience symptoms about four weeks after exposure, but signs can occur as early as two weeks and as late as seven weeks.
In a news release on Friday, authorities reassured those who have been vaccinated against the disease.
“Individuals who have been vaccinated for hepatitis A or have had the disease are protected,” said Dr. Anissa Davis, city health officer for Long Beach. “Those who are not immune to hepatitis A should consult their medical provider if they develop symptoms, and let their provider know they may have been exposed to hepatitis A.”
The city’s website has more information about hepatitis A and the current outbreak.