Oakland County health officials are urging people who recently attended the Michigan Renaissance Festival to get a hepatitis A vaccine because a person who attended the show on September 1 tested positive for the disease.
Anyone who attended the show on September 1 or September 2 should have vaccinated by Saturday, according to the Oakland County Health Division, if they have not already been vaccinated.
The health department will hold vaccination courses from 8:30 to 7:00 pm. Friday and 10:00 to 14:00 Saturday at the North Oakland Health Center, 1200 N. Telegraph Road, Building 34 East, in Pontiac.
Vaccination can prevent the disease if given within 14 days of possible exposure, said Leigh-Anne Stafford, health officer for the Health Division. Officials said that they had first heard of the participant's illness on Thursday night.
Hepatitis A is a liver-caused infection of the liver. The symptoms typically occur between two weeks and 50 days after exposure and can last for several weeks to months. The disease can be deadly.
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Persons who may have been exposed but can not be vaccinated until Saturday should be alert for symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dark urine, clay stools, fever, chills and yellow skin and eyes (jaundice).
Hepatitis A cases have swept Southeast Michigan since August 2016. Health officials have said that this is one of the biggest outbreaks in the US since a vaccine was introduced two decades ago.
There were 886 cases across the country, with 713 hospitalizations and 28 deaths.
The virus is excreted in fecal matter and most commonly spreads between humans, even if they are contaminated with feces.
Stafford said with vaccinations, good hygiene practices and proper surface repair can prevent the spread of hepatitis A.
The annual Michigan Renaissance Festival in Holly regularly attracts more than 250,000 visitors, according to the festival's website.
For more information on hepatitis A, visit oakgov.com/health. Nurse on call is available from 8:30 to 17:00. Monday through Friday at 800-848-5533 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Contact employee writer Ann Zaniewski at 313-222-6594 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter: @AnnZaniewski
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