Fruit sold by a Lancaster street vendor who was infected with hepatitis A might have exposed consumers to the virus, which can cause serious liver disease, Los Angeles County public health officials said Monday in a statement.
The possibly contaminated produce was sold at a stand at West Avenue L and 20th Street West in mid-August, officials said.
“It is important that anyone who may have bought or consumed fruit from this vendor during the period of Aug. 15 through Aug. 22 should contact their doctor to discuss possible hepatitis A prevention and treatment options,” said Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, the county’s interim health officer.
Health officials advised those who might have eaten the affected fruit to receive an immune globulin shot or hepatitis A vaccine. Any uneaten produce should be discarded.
Free vaccinations will be offered beginning Tuesday at the Antelope Valley Public Health Center, 335-B E. Avenue K-6, in Lancaster, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information, call (661) 471-4860
This new case might be linked to outbreaks of hepatitis A infections in San Diego and Santa Cruz counties, officials said. Most of those have involved homeless people and illicit drug users, officials said.
The infected fruit stand worker previously had spent time in San Diego, received care and is no longer infectious, the statement said. The county has not identified any new cases associated with the fruit stand.