Confirmed hepatitis A case at Michigan Renaissance Festival

Published: Sep. 13, 2018 at 8:20 PM EDT
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An attendee at the Michigan Renaissance Festival has a confirmed case of hepatitis A.

This person was ill while at the festival on Sept. 1.

The Oakland County Health Division is strongly recommending attendees and workers at the festival on Sept. 1 and Sept. 2 to get vaccinated by Sept. 15, if they haven't already.

“Vaccination can prevent the disease if given within 14 days after potential exposure,” said Leigh-Anne Stafford, health officer for the Health Division. “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.”

Hepatitis A symptoms include sudden abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, headache, dark urine or vomiting, which often is followed by yellowing of the skin and eyes, according to the health division.

They say symptoms might appear anywhere from 14 to 50 days after a person was exposed, but the average time for it to appear is about a month.

“We are still experiencing a serious, ongoing hepatitis A outbreak both locally and statewide. Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that can range from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious illness lasting several months,” said Stafford.

People who were at the festival at the beginning of September are advised to contact their medical provider or pharmacy to ensure the hepatitis A vaccine is available.

Hepatitis A is a liver infection caused by a virus that is commonly spread from person to person with unclean hands that have come into contact with feces.