Michigan Renaissance Festival in Holly possibly exposed to Hepatitis A

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HOLLY (WJRT) (9/13/2018) - Attendees at the Michigan Renaissance Festival in Holly this month potentially were exposed to Hepatitis A.

The Oakland County Health Department said someone attending the festival on Sept. 1 was ill and potentially contagious. Officials are urging anyone at the festival Sept. 1 and 2 to seek a vaccination by Saturday.

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

Hepatitis A is a virus commonly spread in feces onto hands that attacks the liver. Vaccination involves two doses given six months apart.

The vaccine is available at some doctor's offices, pharmacies and local health department facilities. Call ahead to ensure availability and to see whether appointments are required.

The Oakland County Health Department is hosting two special Hepatitis A vaccination clinics at the North Oakland Health Center, 1200 N. Telegraph Road, Building 34 East in Pontiac:
-- 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday.
-- 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Oakland County’s Nurse on Call hotline at 1-800-848-5533 will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. to answer questions about Hepatitis A exposure or other health issues.

Anyone who can't receive the vaccine by Saturday should be aware of Hepatitis A symptoms, including sudden abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, headache, dark urine and vomiting often followed by yellowing of the skin and eyes.

Symptoms usually appear from 14 to 50 days after exposure, but average about one 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. “Vaccination, good hygiene and proper sanitation of surfaces can prevent the spread of hepatitis A.”