DETROIT (WWJ) – The Detroit Health Department is investigating a Hepatitis A case involving an employee at Greektown Casino.
Health officials said Thursday the employee works in a “confined area,” and there’s no risk for general casino patrons. However, there may be a risk to those who have visited the private Platinum member card access area where the affected worker is assigned.
Those who ate or drank anything in the Platinum member area between Novemeber 11 and November 22 (the exposure period)are urged to get the Hepatitis A vaccine as soon as possible, and before December 6, 2017.
In a news release, casino officials say they have been fully cooperative with the investigation, and have hired a certified cleaning contractor which has thoroughly cleaned and sanitized all potentially affected areas. The casino is also working with the Detroit Health Department to notify and arrange vaccination for potentially affected people who may have eaten in the private Platinum member card access area, as well as all employees.
The casino will be contacting those individuals to advise them of their vaccination options.
The Detroit Health Department has notified the gaming establishment that the affected employee cannot return to work until cleared by their doctor.
Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that results from infection with the Hepatitis A virus. It can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months. Symptoms can include fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal, and sometimes yellow eyes or skin and dark urine. A person can get Hepatitis A when they eat, drink, or touch their mouth with food, liquid or objects (including their hands) that have come into contact with stool from an infected person. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention immediately.
State officials say Southeast Michigan has seen an increase in Hepatitis A cases since 2016.
Vaccination is recommended for the following at–risk individuals:
- Health care workers who have direct contact with patients
- People who use injection and non-injection illegal drugs
- People who participate in commercial exchange of sexual practices
- People who are homeless or in transient living situations
- People who are or have recently been incarcerated
- Close personal contacts (e.g., household, sexual) of hepatitis A patients
- Food handlers
- Men who have sex with men
- People with liver diseases, such as hepatitis B or hepatitis C. Persons with chronic liver disease have an elevated risk of death from liver failure.
- Any person who wishes to be immune to hepatitis A
- People who live, work, or recreate in SE Michigan and are concerned about getting hepatitis A
Risk factors for a hepatitis A infection include living with someone who has hepatitis A, having sexual contact with someone who has hepatitis A, or sharing injection or non-injection illegal drugs with someone who has hepatitis A. The virus can also be transmitted through contaminated food or water.
Contact your local health department about how to receive the hepatitis A vaccine:
- Detroit Health Department, 313-876-4000
- Macomb County Health Department, 586-469-5372
- Monroe County Health Department, 1-888-354-5500, Ext. 7800
- Oakland County Health Division, 1-800-848-5533 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Clair County Health Department, 810-987-5300
- Wayne County Communicable Disease Unit, 734-727-7078
For more information, visit michigan.gov/hepatitis.