Health officials investigating hepatitis outbreak at 555 Steakhouse in Downtown

The Long Beach Health Department is investigating a possible hepatitis A outbreak at the 555 East American Steakhouse in Downtown Long Beach after the illness was confirmed in people who ate at the popular restaurant on or around Dec. 24, the department said Friday.

Health officials noted that the restaurant does not pose an ongoing risk to the public at this time.

The source is under investigation.

“We are notifying the public of the exposure so that people can immediately seek medical care if they begin to develop symptoms,” Long Beach Health Officer Anissa Davis said in a statement. “Individuals who have been vaccinated for hepatitis A or have had the disease are protected. Those who are not immune to hepatitis A should consult their medical provider if they develop symptoms, and let their provider know they may have been exposed to hepatitis A.”

Hepatitis A, an infectious disease of the liver, can be transmitted through person-to-person through the fecal-oral route or consumption of contaminated food or water. Symptoms include fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, dark urine, nausea and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes).

Symptoms usually appear about four weeks after exposure, but can occur as early as two and as late as seven weeks.

Individuals who ate at 555 East American Steakhouse on or around December 24, 2019 should contact their medical provider if they develop symptoms. For more information on hepatitis A, visit www.longbeach.gov/hepa or call the Long Beach Health Department 562-570-7907.

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Kelly Puente is a general assignment and special projects reporter at the Long Beach Post. Her prolific reporting has taken her all over Southern California—even to the small Catalina Island town of Two Harbors. She is a Tiki mug collector and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public policy and administration at Cal State Long Beach. Reach her at kelly@lbpost.com.
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