Michigan health officials are urging people who recently went to the state’s Renaissance Festival to get vaccinated after a female attendee was diagnosed with hepatitis A.
The woman was sick when she went to the festival in Holly, Michigan on Sept. 1, and possibly infected any workers or visitors. The Oakland County Health Division says that anyone who was at the festival on Sept. 1 or 2 and is unvaccinated should go to their two special hepatitis A clinics on Friday and Saturday.
“Vaccination can prevent the disease if given within 14 days after potential exposure,” Leigh-Anne Stafford, a health officer for the state, said in a statement. “If you have attended the Michigan Renaissance Festival during these dates and have not been vaccinated for hepatitis A or have a sudden onset of any symptoms, contact your doctor.”
Michigan is currently in the midst of a statewide hepatitis A outbreak that has persisted for the last two years. The outbreak began in Aug. 2016, and since then, there have been 886 cases of the disease and 28 deaths.
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Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection that typically spreads between food, drinks and other objects. People who are infected develop flu-like symptoms including fever, nausea, abdominal pain, darkened urine and more. The symptoms typically do not appear for at least two weeks.
The illness lasts for several weeks, but patients typically make a full recovery. In rare cases, hepatitis A can lead to deaths in people over age 50.
“Vaccination, good hygiene, and proper sanitation of surfaces can prevent the spread of hepatitis A,” Stafford said.