WASH HANDS AFTER USING TOILET

UPDATED: 14 Cabell Cases of Hep A; Case of Hepatitis A Confirmed at Barboursville Restaurant

Updated 29 weeks ago Edited from a Press Release

HUNTINGTON, WV - Fourteen cases of Hepatitis A have now been confirmed by the Cabell Huntington Health Department (CHHD). That's double the amount in the previous week CHHD confirmed Thursday a case of Hepatitis A in a food service worker at O’Charley’s Restaurant and Bar, 3060 Champion Drive in Barboursville, WV.

 

“While the risk of disease transmission is very low, persons who have not been vaccinated against hepatitis A and who consumed food or drink at the restaurant between May 6 and May 13, 2018 should consider getting hepatitis A vaccine injection not more than two weeks after their exposure to help prevent infection,” said Cabell County Health Officer, Dr. Michael Kilkenny. Your health care provider or the Cabell-Huntington Health Department can help determine proper prevention for you. Hepatitis A vaccine is available from most health care provider offices, pharmacies, and urgent care clinics, but you should call ahead to ensure availability. CHHD has limited vaccine available for individuals without insurance who can’t afford it.

 

The purpose of this alert is preventive; no cases resulting from exposure at the restaurant have been reported. A CHHD investigation finds the restaurant to be safe for operation, today.

 

“O’Charley’s is committed to the health and safety of employees and guests. 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 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.”

 Elizabeth A. Adkins, director of health and wellness and PIO for the Cabell Huntington Health Department told HNN , "There is nothing in regards to inspection of a restaurant that could have prevented this."

Adkins declined further comment on the upswing of Hepatitis A among food handlers in Boyd County, Kanawha County, Putnam County and now Cabell County citing HIPPA guidelines that protect "individual cases." She referred questions concerning "high risk population" to visit the Center for Disease Control website. 

 

 

Hepatitis A is a viral disease of the liver. It is spread from person to person by the “fecal-oral” route, often by inadequate handwashing after using the toilet or changing diapers.

 

Persons suspecting that they have symptoms of hepatitis should contact their health care provider. Persons working as food handlers who experience symptoms of hepatitis should not work and should be seen by a health care provider. The symptoms include nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, fatigue, fever, abdominal cramps, dark colored urine, light or whitish-colored stools, and jaundice (a yellow color to the eyes or skin). Incubation period is two to six weeks from exposure to symptoms. Persons with questions should contact their personal health care provider or the Cabell-Huntington Health Department at (304) 523-6483.

 

"Once a person receives the shot it can take 2-4 works to develop immunity for adults. The shot is available at the Cabell-Huntington Health Department, it is a two dose vaccine and each dose is $75. A person would receive one now and the final dose in 6 months," Adkns said. 

Asked whether the outbreak has led to proactive steps  among restaurnt employees, Adkins explained that "new restaurant workers will not be required to receive a vaccine. If there is a case at a restaurant then the employees are strongly encouraged to receive vaccination."

Prevention: Thorough handwashing with soap and hot water after using the toilet and before handling food is the most important factor in preventing spread. Vaccinations are highly effective if received within 14 days of exposure.

 

This investigation is part of a multistate outbreak of Hepatitis A. CHHD is working closely with the WV Bureau of Public Health to address cases, contacts and immunization in high risk populations. Further information on Hepatitis A can be obtained at www.cabellhealth.org or https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hav/

Comments powered by Disqus