Kaiser Permanente Hawaii - What you should know about Hepatitis A

The Hawaii State Department of Health recently announced that imported frozen raw ahi (tuna) used to prepare poke tested positive for hepatitis A. The fish was sold on Oahu between April 27 and May 1.

Visit the Hawaii State Department of Health online news page for the most recent update.

Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that results from infection with the hepatitis A virus. It can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months.

Symptoms, which may take several weeks to develop after exposure, include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, dark urine and light colored feces, and abdominal discomfort followed by jaundice.

Kaiser Permanente has hepatitis A vaccine available to protect against the disease. The hepatitis A vaccine is most effective if two shots are given at a minimum of six months apart.

If you have handled, bought, or eaten poke at one of the DOH identified locations and you have not received any previous hep A vaccinations we recommend you get the hepatitis A vaccine. It’s best to do so within two weeks of exposure for the vaccine to prevent hepatitis A infection.

If you have already received ONE hepatitis A vaccination, it is likely you already have some protection against hepatitis A. A second vaccination will provide long-term protection and is recommended. Ideally, you should get the second hepatitis A vaccine between 6 and 18 months after you get the first dose. If you think you have been exposed to hepatitis A recently, we encourage you to contact your personal physician and get a SECOND vaccination for hepatitis A.

If you have had two hepatitis A vaccinations before, even years ago, a “booster” dose is not recommended even if you have had a recent exposure to hepatitis A.

Please call our appointment call center during regular business hours at the following numbers: 

  • Oahu: 808-432-2000
  • Maui: 808-243-6000
  • Hawaii Island: 808-934-4000
  • Kauai: 808-246-5600