A worker at a Saco pizza shop had hepatitis A last month and could have infected patrons and employees at the restaurant with the highly contagious liver disease, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday.

The CDC said the worker handled food at the Saco House of Pizza while infectious from Aug. 5-21. The agency is recommending that anyone who ate food from the restaurant – takeout, delivery or curbside pick-up – from Aug. 18-21 get the hepatitis A vaccine. The Maine CDC said the vaccine is effective if it’s given within 14 days after exposure to the virus that causes hepatitis A.

The vaccine is not effective for those exposed more than two weeks ago, but the center said those who visited or got food from the restaurant from Aug. 5-17 should watch for symptoms, which can include fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea, dark urine and jaundice, which is a yellowing of the skin or eyes. Symptoms begin to show 15 to 50 days after exposure and an infected person can spread it to others from about two weeks before symptoms start to about a week after they end.

There is no cure for hepatitis A, but the infection normally clears up on its own within one or two months.

Anyone who visited the restaurant during the time period who develops the symptoms should seek medical attention, the Maine CDC said. Also, the center said that those with compromised immune systems or children younger than a year old may benefit from hepatitis A immune globulin and should talk to their health care provider.

Hepatitis A can be spread through contaminated food or water, especially in food prepared by a person who is infected. Symptoms begin to show 15-50 days after exposure to the virus. An infected person can spread the virus to others from approximately two weeks before the symptoms start to a week after they end.

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