Beyonce Knowles Cleared Of Hepatitis Risk From Hollywood Party Food
Her publicist, Alan Nierob, told the press that according to the health department, neither Ms Knowles nor he is at risk because they did not touch the food.
The party, which was held on 14th of February, celebrated the latest issue of the magazine, a swimsuit edition where Ms Knowles appears on the cover.
The edition also featured other well known artists such country star Kenny Chesney, rapper Kanye West, plus members of the bands Aerosmith and Gnarls Barkley. Many of them may have been at the party, along with other magazine models.
The food for the event was provided by Wolfgang Puck Catering who have revealed that one of their cooks is infected with Hepatitis A. The worker has also prepared food for 12 other events between 3rd and 20th February, exposing up to 3,500 people to infection.
Health officials and party organizers have been contacting guests from the 13 events, said a spokesperson for Los Angeles County Health Department yesterday. If they didn't touch the food they should be alright, they said.
They said that the risk is low and that Wolfgang Puck prepacked food and restaurants are not affected.
Once a person is infected, they have 14 days within which they should be treated to avoid getting the disease. For many people that "window" is still open.
Meanwhile Wolfgang Puck Catering have put the infected cook on medical leave and disinfected the food preparation areas at their Hollywood kitchen.
Sports Illustrated said they have taken the warning very seriously and are also working closely with health officials to track down the guests and staff who were present on the 14th.
Hepatitis A is an acute infectious liver disease caused by a virus that is spread by fecal-oral contact. It can be caught for example by shaking hands with an infected person who has not washed their hands after going to the bathroom, or by eating food that they have been handling. It can also be caught by drinking water contaminated with feces from infected people.
The virus attacks the liver and causes jaundice, but rarely does permanent damage or leads to death. Mortality rate is less than 4 deaths in 1000 infections.
Not everyone infected experiences symptoms but if they do they occur abruptly and include feeling very tired, having a fever, vomiting, diarrhea, darker than usual urine, and pain in the right upper abdomen. The definitive diagnosis is a blood test (IgM anti-HAV).
According to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), Hepatitis A occurs in isolated cases and widespread epidemics and can affect anyone.
Good personal hygiene and sanitation can help to prevent contamination and vaccines are available for long term prevention of the disease for people over 1 year of age.
Short term prevention is by immune globulin injection which has to be administered within 14 days of infection.
Following a program of hepatitis A vaccination of children, rates of Hepatitis A in the US fell by 76 per cent between the 1980s and the year 2003, to 2.6 cases per 100,000 of the population, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA. 2005;294:246-248).
Click here for Questions and Answers about Hepatitis A (CDC).
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