Health officials investigating Hepatitis A cases at two Portland restaurants

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The Multnomah County Health Department is investigating two confirmed cases of hepatitis A in restaurant workers at two Cup and Saucer restaurants in Portland.

Anyone who ate or drank at the Cup and Saucer Cafe at 8237 N. Denver Avenue from March 22 to March 29 is urged to contact their health care provider to see if they need to be vaccinated or receive other preventative care.

The same goes for anyone who ate or drank at the Cup and Saucer location at 3566 S.E. Hawthorne Boulevard on March 22 or March 25.

Additionally, anyone who ate or drank at the north Portland location as far back as Feb. 22 should contact their health care provider if they have any symptoms of hepatitis A.

Hepatitis A is a liver infection caused by a virus. It typically causes a temporary illness of fever, tiredness, belly pain, vomiting, diarrhea and jaundice, a yellowing of the skin or eyes.

It is highly contagious and people become infected by swallowing the virus. It can spread from person to person by inadequate hand washing after using the bathroom, changing diapers or eating food prepared by an infected person. It can also be passed by sexual contact.

Hepatitis A is not spread by saliva.

The current investigation began with a case of hepatitis A reported to the Health Department on March 20. The restaurant worker stayed home from work to recover and health officials vaccinated the restaurant staff according to public health guidelines.

On Monday this week, a second person connected to the cafe was confirmed as having hepatitis A.

The owner, managers and staff of the Cup and Saucer restaurants have been proactive in working with Multnomah County Health Department environmental health inspectors and are working diligently to ensure a safe establishment for patrons and workers, according to the health department.

"We consider the risk to be relatively low," said Dr. Jennifer Vines, Multnomah County Deputy Health Officer. "But there are vaccines that can lower the risk of illness if given within two weeks of possible exposure."

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