The New Year holiday brought two alarming reports of a hepatitis outbreak in Hamilton Township, NJ. Both involved the highly contagious hepatitis A virus, and now officials are sounding the alarm for those who might have been exposed.

How the New Jersey Hepatitis A Outbreak Happened

The victims are both female — one a hairstylist and the other a gym instructor — and had both eaten at the same restaurant not long before exhibiting symptoms. Authorities aren’t yet sure whether the restaurant is responsible.

If you visited any of these locations between December 5th and December 29th, 2014 — and you have not be vaccinated for hepatitis A — you should visit a doctor immediately for screening, even if you do not exhibit symptoms:

  • YMCA (the JKR branch on Whitehorse-Mercerville Rd in Hamilton, NJ)
  • New Jersey Athletic Club (Lawrence, NJ)
  • South Broad Street Salon (Hamilton, NJ)
  • Mercer County Board of Social Services.

Additionally, you may want to exercise precaution if you visited The Hair Port Salon or Rosa’s Restaurant and Catering during the relevant time period. For more information on the New Jersey hepatitis A outbreak, follow the Times of Trenton report.

Hepatitis A: Signs, Symptoms, and How It Spreads

Hepatitis A is a virus that can cause liver damage or inflammation. Cases range from mild to severe, though it is rarely deadly. The virus spreads by contact with contaminated food or water, or through direct contact with an infected person.

You may have already been vaccinated for hepatitis A. If you aren’t sure, or if you display symptoms despite vaccination, you should talk with your doctor as soon as possible.

Hepatitis A signs and symptoms typically develop between two and six weeks after exposure. They include:

  • Mild fever
  • Diminished appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dark urine
  • Low-grade fever
  • Abdominal pain (especially near the liver)
  • Joint paint
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
  • Clay-colored stools

Some infected people never develop symptoms.

Talk with a Parsippany-Troy Hills Personal Injury Lawyer

Hepatitis A often spreads because service providers fail to practice safe hygiene. While we do not know if that was the case in the recent Hamilton outbreak, victims may have a claim for compensation for their suffering.

Please investigate any suspicious symptoms with a doctor right away, and should you need legal assistance, don’t hesitate to contact a Parsippany-Troy Hills personal injury lawyer at The Law Offices of James C. DeZao, P.A.