News from Hepatitis Week of October 5, 2003 / Vol. 3 No. 40
Georgia Hepatitis A Linked to Prepackaged Restaurant Vegetables

Georgia state health officials believe an ongoing hepatitis A outbreak is linked to prepackaged vegetables and salads use by some restaurants.

Such foods, according to state health officials, are often served without being rewashed at restaurants. Even when they are rewashed, sometimes that doesn't get rid of the virus.

At least 170 cases of hepatitis A were reported in Georgia during September, including 130 after September 15. The state usually has 400 reported cases of hepatitis A each year.

Hepatitis A does not lead to long-term liver damage. The virus usually results from the consumption of food contaminated with infected feces. Signs of the disease such as fever, nausea and jaundice, may not show up for about a month.

The officials believe the Georgia outbreak may be linked to similar ones that occurred recently in Knoxville, TN, and Asheville, NC.

Other sources: Atlanta Journal-Constitution