Hepatitis A clinics cost $500,000 so far; vaccination is cheaper

WGRZ is reporting that the hepatitis A positive Wegmans’ employee has led to at least $500,000 being spent on vaccination clinics in upstate New York.

So far, more than 8,300 people have been vaccinated.

Dr. Anthony Billittier said,

"When it comes to protecting the public’s health we need to do what we need to do."

Erie County Executive Chris Collins said,

"We’ve redeployed workers out of the Rath building to go to the ECC clinic. They aren’t doing their jobs in the Rath building but we’re paying them anyway, so is it a cost for the Hepatitis clinic, yes, because when they come back their work is piling up." And they may have to work overtime to catch up.

It’s also costing taxpayers money to rents screen to give patients privacy, for the needles to inject the vaccine, and for the NFTA buses on standby to keep people waiting warm.

These hepatitis A cases are a weekly occurrence in the U.S. A food worker parties in Mexico or the Dominican where hepatitis A is endemic. Food worker comes home, is fine for two weeks, then spends the next two weeks crapping out virus. And unless food worker is really diligent about handwashing, he’s spreading virus-containing poop on food — especially fresh produce or salads. After four weeks, food worker turns yellow and goes to the doctor where a diagnosis is made. Then the clinics start.

Get vaccinated for hepatitis A. And dude, wash your damn hands.

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About Douglas Powell

A former professor of food safety and the publisher of barfblog.com, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here. Dr. Douglas Powell editor, barfblog.com retired professor, food safety 3/289 Annerley Rd Annerley, Queensland 4103 dpowell29@gmail.com 61478222221 I am based in Brisbane, Australia, 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time