The likely 50-day incubation period is over, and there have been no new cases of hepatitis A linked to contaminated scallops served at sushi restaurants in Hawaii since Oct. 9. The state reports that two people who were infected with the linked strain of hepatitis have died, though only one patient’s death was due to the infection.
One of the women who died while infected was already terminally ill and had entered hospice care, so her death wasn’t officially attributed to the infection.
The other was a woman in her sixties who died last week due to complications of liver failure. She had the same strain of hepatitis that was linked to the scallops, and had eaten at the restaurant blamed for the outbreak, Genki Sushi, back in July. Hawaii News Now reports that she was waiting for a liver transplant at the time she died. (warning: auto-play video at that link)
“Unfortunately we’re now dealing a woman who died from eating food,” said Bill Marler, the lawyer and food safety website publisher who was representing the woman who died and other victims in this case. “And in the United States in 2016, that shouldn’t be how it is.”
Hepatitis A is now part of the childhood vaccination schedule, which is why foodborne outbreaks don’t tend to affect children. Out of the 291 total known victims of this outbreak, 289 were adults. Out of those, 73 of the victims were hospitalized.
Two Hepatitis A victims in Hawaii confirmed dead [Food Safety News]
by Laura Northrup via Consumerist