Cabell-Huntington Health Department Confirms Hepatitis A In Food Service Worker

The Cabell-Huntington Health Department (CHHD) has confirmed a case of hepatitis A in a food service worker at Gino’s Pizza, 10th Street in Huntington, 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 August 1st – 3 rd and August 6 th and 7th 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 CabellHuntington 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.

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.

“Upon being informed that a former employee of our 10th Street Gino’s Pizza was diagnosed with hepatitis A we notified the Cabell-Huntington Health Department. We followed the guidelines set forth by the Cabell-Huntington Health Department to clean and sanitize everything. We take the health and safety of our customers, our employees and our community seriously. All employees are in the process of receiving the hep A vaccine” -Nancy Smith – Gino’s Pizza

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

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/. An outbreak status update for Cabell County will be released August 17th, 2018.

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