July 16, 2024

Detroit McDonald’s Worker Diagnosed with Hepatitis A

A worker at a McDonald’s restaurant in Detroit has been diagnosed with hepatitis A, according to a press release by the City of Detroit Health Department. That person worked as a crew member at the facility located at 2889 West Grand Boulevard.

Hepatitis A

There is an ongoing hepatitis A outbreak in southeast Michigan that has sickened more than 500 people, as of November 21, 2017. Detroit is located in that area of the state. Public health officials have not said whether or not this person is part of the larger outbreak.

Anyone who ate at that McDonald’s location from November 8 to November 22, 2017 may have been exposed to the virus. But, since vaccinations are only effective if given within two weeks of exposure, if you ate there before November 15, 2017, you are no longer eligible for a shot. You should monitor yourself for the symptoms of hepatitis A, which usually appear two weeks to 50 days after exposure. If you do get sick, see your doctor.

Health department officials say that the risk of transmission of hepatitis A from a food handler is generally low, but they are still recommending vaccinations.  The Detroit Health Department is investigating the establishment, and McDonald’s has been cooperative. They are hiring a third party company to clean and sanitize the establishment.

The Detroit Health Department says there is no reason to believe there is an ongoing risk of exposure at this time. Officials are also making sure that appropriate food handling and cleaning protocol are followed. The employee stopped working at the establishment when symptoms began. Unfortunately, a person with this illness is infectious for two weeks before symptoms appear. The worker cannot return to work until they receive approval from their doctor.

The Detroit Health Department is offering free hepatitis A vaccines to uninsured Detroit residents, not just those who may have been exposed in this particular case, at its Immunization Clinics. They are held Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and on Wednesdays from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. The clinics are at The Samaritan Center at 5555 Conner Street in Detroit, and The Family Place, at 8726 Woodland Avenue in Detroit. Non-Detroit residents can contact their local health department for free vaccinations if they are uninsured and ate at that facility during the above dates.

The symptoms of hepatitis A include fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin), dark urine, and clay-colored stools. This illness can be mild or it can be severe, depending on the health of the person infected. People with liver disease can become seriously ill and die if they contract this infection.

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