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American Airlines Passengers Might Have Been Exposed to Hepatitis A



American Airlines has notified passengers on a September 21 flight from San Francisco to Charlotte of possible exposure to Hepatitis A, according to the Charlotte Observer.

A spokeswoman for the Mecklenburg (N.C.) County Health Department confirmed it to the newspaper.

There were 18 passengers from the Charlotte area on the flight; all have since been vaccinated against the virus, health department spokeswoman Rebecca Carter told The Charlotte Observer.

“The risk was only to the passengers on the flight,” Carter said, explaining why health officials didn’t issue a general county alert. “There was no risk to the public.”

American Airlines spokeswoman Crystal Byrd told the paper that “The safety of our customers and team members is our top priority. We are in close contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and public health officials and will coordinate with them on any required health and safety-related measures.”

According to the World Health Organization, Hepatitis A is a viral liver disease that can cause mild to severe illness. The hepatitis A virus (HAV) is transmitted through ingestion of contaminated food and water or through direct contact with an infectious person. Almost everyone recovers fully from hepatitis A with a lifelong immunity.

Carter and American Airlines said they did not know what caused the possible exposure.

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