NH DHHS - Hepatitis A Conclusion

Department of Health Wraps Up Hepatitis A Response

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

(DHHS) Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) has completed the

investigation into and response to a case of hepatitis A in a food service

worker. The adult from Hillsborough County worked at two locations in

Contoocook, the Covered Bridge Restaurant and the American Legion. A total

of 1,114 people received prophylaxis, either vaccine or immune globulin, as

a result of potential exposure at two recently held clinics.

“This was a quick and thorough response to a public health incident and I

want to thank everyone involved for all their hard work and commitment to

the people of New Hampshire,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public

Health at DHHS. “Unfortunately practice makes perfect and we have been

through events like this before so overall things went very well, but it

was still a huge undertaking. I want to extend my appreciation to all the

local responders, the Capital Area Public Health Network, the management of

the Covered Bridge Restaurant and the American Legion, the employees of

DHHS who worked on this outbreak, the Northern New England Poison Control

Center, and everyone else who helped out for their professionalism and


Those people who were at either of the establishments between July 20th and

August 3rd have been recommended to receive either the vaccine or immune

globulin. If you fall into this category but did not attend either of the

clinics and have not previously been vaccinated for hepatitis A, you should

contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible. If you may have been

exposed but do not have health insurance, you can attend a Community Health

Clinic, a list of which is available at


Hepatitis A is a virus that causes liver disease which sometimes requires

hospitalization. It’s spread from person to person by putting something in

the mouth that has been contaminated with the stool of a person with

hepatitis A. It can also be spread by sharing utensils or by sexual

contact. Symptoms usually come on quickly and may include fever, tiredness,

loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal discomfort, dark urine, and jaundice

(yellowing of the skin and eyes.) People who develop hepatitis A almost

always recover from the illness without further complications.

“This is a good time to remind people that personal hygiene is critical in

protecting us from foodborne illness,” said Montero. “Hand washing is the

most important step we should all take but also not touching ready-to-eat

food with bare hands is a state rule for food service workers. If you are

sick, stay home from work to avoid giving your illness, hepatitis A or

anything else, to others. These are good practices we should all be


New England Poison Control Center activated to assist with answering

questions from the public about hepatitis A and the upcoming clinics, but

any further calls should now go the DPHS Bureau of Infectious Disease

Control at 603-271-4496. To make a report about a food service

establishment, call the DPHS Food Protection Section at 603-271-4589.

For more information about hepatitis A you can also visit DHHS’ website at

www.dhhs.nh.gov  or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at