A food worker at the Pizza Works restaurant in Custer, South Dakota has been diagnosed with hepatitis A, according to the South Dakota Health Department. That person worked between June 19 and July 5, 2016. That means anyone who ate there during that time frame may have been exposed. The restaurant is cooperating with the health department’s investigation.
Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by a virus that can be carried by an infected person, especially if they do not wash their hands thoroughly after using the bathroom. The virus spreads by direct contact or by contaminating food or drink handled by that person.
The symptoms of hepatitis A include fever, abdominal pain, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), fatigue, poor appetite, dark urine, and clay colored stools. Most people recover on their own after a few weeks, but some, especially those with liver disease, could become seriously ill. More than 20% of patients with this illness require hospitalization.
If you ate at that restaurant during that time frame, contact your doctor to see if you should be vaccinated with the immune globulin shot or a hepatitis A shot. These shots are only good if administered within two weeks of exposure. That means that anyone who ate at the restaurant before June 26, 2016 is no longer a candidate for a vaccination. The only thing those people can do is monitor themselves for the symptoms of the disease.