An employee at Paul’s Pizza at 7635 West Vernor in Detroit has been diagnosed with a hepatitis A infection, according to a news release issued by the Detroit Health Department. This is the eighth restaurant to be part of the department’s warning about possible exposure this fall. The Michigan Department of Health Services warned about this exploding outbreak last March.
Paul’s Pizza only supplies carry-out and delivery service. The risk of transmission of hepatitis A from an infected employee is low, but public health officials are still recommending hepatitis A or immune globulin vaccinations for anyone who ate or drank beverages prepared there.
A vaccination is only effective if given within two weeks of possible exposure. The employee who was just diagnosed worked there from November 20 through November 25, 2017. If you ate food prepared there on November 20, 21, or 22, it’s too late for a shot. Monitor yourself for the symptoms of hepatitis A, and see your doctor if you do get sick.
Those symptoms include fever, nausea, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, vomiting, jaundice, clay-colored stools, and dark urine. People can be sick with a mild illness, or they may develop a severe infection that lasts for months. People with compromised immune systems and liver disease are most at risk for serious complications from this infection.
Paul’s Pizza is cooperating with the investigation. They have throughly cleaned and sanitized the facility. The Detroit Health Department is conducting an investigation of the establishment. They want to make sure that proper food handling and cleaning protocols are being followed.
The employee stopped working there after symptoms began. He or she cannot return to work until approved by a doctor. A person is infectious up to two weeks before symptoms appear, so do not know that they are potential spreading an illness.
The Detroit Health Department is offering hepatitis A vaccinations to uninsured Detroit residents at its Immunization Clinics. They are held Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and on Wednesday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. The clinics are held at two places in Detroit: The Samaritan Center at 5555 Conner Street in Detroit, and The Family Place at 8726 Woodward Avenue in Detroit. If you need a shot and are uninsured, contact your local health department if you don’t live in Detroit.
You can help stop the spread of this illness by getting vaccinated. You can also make sure you thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water after using the bathroom, after changing diapers, after taking care of someone who is sick, and before preparing or handling food.