December 7, 2021

Hepatitis A in Food Worker at Marco’s Pizza in Anniston, AL

A food handler has been diagnosed with hepatitis A at Marco’s Pizza in Anniston, Alabama, according to Alabama Public Health. Customers who consumed food, whether by pickup or delivery, from that facility between September 26 and October 2, 2017 should be vaccinated against the virus.

Hepatitis A

If you ate food prepared there before September 28, 2017, it’s too late for a vaccination. That shot is only effective if given within two weeks of exposure to the virus. Depending on your age and other factors, you should get the hepatitis A or immune globulin vaccination; your doctor will determine which one is appropriate.

The hepatitis A vaccine is given to people 12 months to 40 years who have never been vaccinated. Anyone over the age of 40 is usually given the immune globulin vaccination.

Hepatitis A is a viral infection that affects the liver. It is spread through contaminated food and drink and person-to-person contact.

Dr. Burnestine Taylor, Medical Officer for Disease Control and Prevention, ADPH said in a statement, “Adults with hepatitis A may have symptoms that include fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea, and jaundice. These symptoms usually resolve within two months of infection. Children less than 6 years of age generally do not have symptoms or have an unrecognized infection. Almost all people who get hepatitis A recover completely.”

But people with compromised immune systems, those over the age of 50,  or liver disease can get seriously ill if they contract this infection. This infection can be deadly.

The best way to prevent this illness is to get a vaccination. If you have been vaccinated or had this illness, you are immune. But remember that you need two doses for protection.

If you are sick, especially with this illness or a diarrheal illness, stay home from work or school. Unfortunately, people with hepatitis A are infectious two weeks before symptoms even appear. That’s why it’s critical for those who have jobs interacting with the public get vaccinated.

It’s also important to wash your hands well with soap and water after preparing food for or serving food to others. Wash your hands after taking care of someone who is sick.

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