June 20, 2019

Employee at McDonald’s in Owenton, Kentucky Diagnosed with Hepatitis A

An employee at the McDonald’s at 506 South Main Street in Owenton, Kentucky has been diagnosed with hepatitis A, according to a press release from the Three Rivers District Health Department. Officials recommend that people in Carroll, Gallatin, Owen, and Pendleton Counties get a hepatitis A or immune globulin vaccine.

Hepatitis A McDonald's Owenton KentuckyThat employee worked at that facility from August 16 through August 27, 2018. That is within the two week time frame when a vaccine can help protect against the disease. If you or anyone you know ate at that McDonald’s restaurant during that time frame, they should get a shot.

The McDonald’s management is cooperating with this investigation. The restaurant has been disinfected and employees told to get vaccinations and to tell management if they are sick.

Dr. Georgia Heise, TRDHD District Director said in a statement, “Hepatitis A infection can be prevented through vaccination and frequent, proper hand washing. Children, ages 1 through 18, are already required to be vaccinated against hepatitis A for school. We strongly encourage the vaccine for all adults. In this way, your entire family can have protection against this infection and help eliminate the spread of hepatitis A in Northern Kentucky.”

Hepatitis A is a very contagious pathogen that can cause serious liver issues in people who have liver disease. The symptoms of this illness include clay-colored stools, dark urine, loss of appetite, nausea, tiredness, fever, stomach pain, yellowing of the eyes and skin, and diarrhea.

It can take up to 50 days after exposure for these symptoms to begin. And unfortunately, people are infectious before symptoms start.

The virus is spread through person-to-person contact, through contaminated beverages and food, and through contact with objects such as countertops, doorknobs, and hand rails.

The best way to prevent this illness is to get a vaccine. Most people receive the hepatitis A shot, but some, including children under the age of 1 and people who are allergic to the hepatitis A vaccine components.

Kentucky is part of a nationwide outbreak of hepatitis A. More than 1300 cases have been reported in that state, compared to an average of 20 cases in a typical year.

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