Oct. 8 (UPI) -- North Carolina's Mecklenburg County announced on Tuesday that it is experiencing a hepatitis A outbreak after a flight attendant may have exposed passengers to the virus.
The county government declared the outbreak after observing an increase in hepatitis A cases including 39 since April 20, 2018, and 12 since Jan. 1, 2019.
The Mecklenburg County Public Health Department confirmed to ABC News that an American Airlines flight attendant may have exposed passengers on several flights to the virus including one between San Francisco and Charlotte on Sept. 21.
The health department contacted 18 local passengers who all received hepatitis A vaccinations.
American Airlines did not confirm that one of its flight attendants had contracted hepatitis A, saying it was in close contact with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and "will coordinate with them on any required health and safety-related measures."
Hepatitis A is usually transmitted from person-to-person by ingesting fecal matter or contaminated food or water. It causes flu-like symptoms such as fatigue, stomach pain, nausea and jaundice in adults, while children younger than 6 months old do not typically exhibit recognizable symptoms.