O'Charley's Worker Has First Cabell County Case of Hepatitis A

Updated 1 year ago Edited by Tony Rutherford from Multiple Reports
O'Charley's Worker Has First Cabell County Case of Hepatitis A

O’Charley’s Restaurant and Bar in Barboursville has become the first Cabell County restaurant with a reported Hepatitis A case found in a food service worker, the Cabell Huntington Health Department confirmed. 

This is the first reported Cabell County food handler case, although multiple cases continue to be increasing in nearby counties. Putnam County reported Thursday a McDonald's worker in Hurricane, WV has the disease. Earlier, a worker at O'Charley's in South Charleston had been confirmed with the disease. 

In a press release, O'Charley's stated:

“As soon as O’Charley’s was made aware of the situation, they alerted the department of health to ensure all necessary steps were taken to guarantee the safety of their restaurant community,” the company said in a prepared statement. “The department of health reviewed O’Charley’s food handling practices and did not find a need for critical action beyond establishing general awareness of the incident among guests. O’Charley’s will continue partnering with the health department while upholding a commitment to the highest health and food safety standards within all restaurants.”

Persons who ate at the restaurant between May 6-May 13 should consider getting an injection. 

Symptoms of the disease include: These include abdominal pain, dark urine, fatigue, fever, yellowing of the skin and eyes, light-colored stools, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting. The cost of the vaccine is $75 per shot, unless the fee is waived. 

Kentucky has been widely hit by the outbreak which in late February rose to 117 cases ranging from Jefferson County (Louisville) to Boyd County (Ashland). 

As of late February, 38 of 45 cases had been confirmed by the Center for Disease Control were linked to those in San Diego, Calif., and Salt Lake City, Utah, where homelessness is common. 

Doug Hogan of the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Human Services explained in the Feb. 2018 release:

"The primary risk factors for Kentucky cases have been illicit drug use and homelessness. A single source of infection has not been identified, and transmission is believed to be occurring through person-to-person contact. People are at increased risk for hepatitis A if they have traveled to a country where the virus is common, are homeless or lack access to adequate bathing and restroom facilities, use illicit drugs, are men who have sex with other men, are any individual with sexual contact with someone who has hepatitis A, have a clotting disorder such as hemophilia, or are household members or caregivers of a person infected with hepatitis A."

Hepatitis A is associated with poor hygiene , especially food service workers not washing their hands after bathroom use and spreading infected feces on served food. Hand washing is one of the best defenses against the disease. 

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