Whitley County Health Department releases list of restaurants with cases of hepatitis A

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WHITLEY COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ)- The Whitley County Health Department has released the names of the restaurants that have had a food worker diagnosed with hepatitis A.

The health department says in July 2018, McDonalds on Cumberland Falls Highway Corbin and Domino’s Pizza in Williamsburg each had one employee diagnosed with Hepatitis A.

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McDonalds in Williamsburg had one employee diagnosed with Hepatitis A in August 2018.

Investigations were immediately completed at all of the restaurants and it was deemed that the risk of patrons contracting Hepatitis A was determined to be low risk.

The health department says it has been following CDC guidelines as to determine who would need postexposure vaccine after exposure to food prepared by a food handler with hepatitis A infection.

McDonalds and Domino’s Pizza have passing scores on their yearly food service inspections.

Many local restaurants have been offering to pay for Hepatitis A vaccine for their employees.
Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus. The virus is one of several types of hepatitis viruses that cause inflammation and affect your liver’s ability to function.

Practicing good hygiene, including washing hands frequently with soap and water and vaccination for Hepatitis A are the best ways to protect against hepatitis A.

Hepatitis A vaccine is available at the local health department, physician offices and pharmacies.

Hepatitis A signs and symptoms: sudden onset of fatigue, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain or discomfort, especially on the upper right side beneath your lower ribs (by your liver), clay-colored bowel movements, loss of appetite, low-grade fever, dark urine, yellowing of the skin and the whites of your eyes (jaundice).

These symptoms may be relatively mild and go away in a few weeks. Sometimes, however, hepatitis A infection results in a severe illness that lasts several months.

Hepatitis A usually spreads when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food or drinks contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from an infected person. The virus spreads when and infected person does not wash their hands adequately after using the toilet or engages in high risk behaviors.

Here are some of the specific ways the hepatitis A virus can spread:
• Eating food handled by someone with the virus who doesn’t thoroughly wash his or her hands after using the toilet
• Drinking contaminated water
• Eating raw shellfish from water polluted with sewage
• Being in close contact with a person who’s infected — even if that person has no signs or symptoms
• Having sex with someone who has the virus