Public Health Department alerts Lancaster residents of possible hepatitis A exposure at Panda Express 

The Panda Express logo. (Jim Watson / AFP/Getty Images)

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is working to alert consumers of possible hepatitis A exposure at a Panda Express in Los Angeles County. 

Hepatitis A was detected in a food handler who worked at the restaurant, which is located at 44411 Valley Central Way, the health department said in a release

“No additional cases have been identified at this time,” health officials said. 

The L.A. County Public Health Department recommends that any patron who consumed food or beverages from the Panda Express location between July 21 and Aug. 4 get the hepatitis A vaccination.  

The vaccination is not necessary for people who previously completed the hepatitis A vaccine or are known to have a past infection. 

Local pharmacies or physicians’ offices may offer the vaccine, and Public Health will be offering free hepatitis A vaccinations to exposed persons at the Antelope Valley Health Center, located at 335 East Avenue K 6 B. 

The vaccinations will be offered from Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. On Monday, the vaccinations begin at 12:30 p.m. 

“Most people will have protective levels of antibody after one dose of the hepatitis A vaccine but can choose to visit their primary care provider to complete the series with a second dose six months after receiving their first dose,” the health department said. 

Hepatitis A is a liver infection that is highly contagious and can spread from person to person through the fecal-oral route (when contaminated feces from an infected person are somehow ingested by another person during close personal contact) or by eating or drinking contaminated food or water, health officials said. 

Most adults with acute hepatitis A will have symptoms that may include fever, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark-colored urine and jaundice – which is yellowing of the skin or eyes. 

Symptoms can vary from mild to severe, and there is no specific antiviral treatment, according to the health department. 

“While prompt vaccination is likely to prevent infection, infection may occur in those who receive the vaccination too late,” health officials said. “Patrons who develop symptoms should call their provider and for a hepatitis A test.” 

The health department will continue to monitor all known individuals who may have been exposed to individuals infected with hepatitis A at the Panda Express location. 

Click here for more information.