Hepatitis A exposure at the Michigan Renaissance Festival: Health departments recommend vaccination

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September 14, 2018  I  News Release

Hepatitis A exposure at the Michigan Renaissance Festival

The Oakland County Health Division (OCHD) issued a health advisory about an attendee of the Michigan Renaissance Festival (Holly, Michigan) who has a confirmed case of hepatitis A and was ill while attending the festival on September 1. The OCHD strongly recommends those who attended and worked at the festival on September 1, September 2 and September 3 be vaccinated within 14 days. Call your doctor or pharmacy if you have not been vaccinated for hepatitis A.

People who attended the festival on:

  • Sept 1 can be protected if they receive vaccination by Saturday, September 15.
  • Sept 2 can be protected if they receive vaccination by Sunday, September 16.
  • Sept 3 can be protected if they receive vaccination by Monday, September 17.

LEARN MORE about Hepatitis A

The Ottawa County Department of Public Health urges people to wash your hands often and get vaccinated to stop the spread of hepatitis A.


What is hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is a serious, highly contagious liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). HAV is found in the feces (poop) of people with hepatitis A. It can cause damage to the liver and other health problems. Hepatitis A can range from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious illness lasting several months. Illness can appear 15-50 days after exposure and can last for several weeks. Not all people infected with hepatitis A experience symptoms. 

How is it spread?

The hepatitis A virus is spread by the fecal-oral route (ingesting contaminated food or water). Hepatitis A is not spread by sneezes or coughs. People who think they may have been exposed should call their doctor immediately.  

What are the symptoms?

  • nausea and vomiting
  • belly pain
  • feeling tired
  • fever
  • loss of appetite
  • yellowing of the skin and eyes
  • dark urine
  • pale-colored feces
  • joint pain

Who is at risk?

People who are at the highest risk include:

  • People with a history of substance use.
  • People currently homeless or in transient living.
  • Men who have sex with men. 
  • People incarcerated in correctional facilities.
  • Food handlers.
  • Health care workers.
  • People with underlying liver disease.
  • People who are in close contact with any of the above risk groups. 

 How can hepatitis A infection be prevented?

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and warm water after using the bathroom or changing a diaper and before eating or preparing food. 
  • Do not share towels, toothbrushes and eating utensils. 
  • Get vaccinated with two doses of Hepatitis A vaccine. Contact your primary care physician or pharmacy for availability. 



Learn more at www.cdc.gov/hepatitis 

Media Contact:

Kristina Wieghmink, Public Information Officer
Ottawa County Department of Public Health
kwieghmink@miottawa.org or (616) 494-5597


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