January 13, 2021

Five Food Service Workers Diagnosed With Hepatitis A Illnesses in the Charleston, West Virginia Area

Five food service workers in the Charleston, West Virginia area have been diagnosed with hepatitis A, according to a news release issued by the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department. One worker has been identified at each facility at the McDonald’s at 64 Patrick Street in Charleston, Pizza Hut at 603 Third Street in Saint Albans, Paul’s Poplar Park Drive Inn at 9850 Teays Valley Road in Scott Depot, Sakura at 230 Nitro Place in Cross Lanes, and Sam’s Club at 2500 Mountaineer Boulevard in South Charleston.

Hepatitis A

These illnesses are linked to the nationwide hepatitis A outbreak that has sickened hundreds in the U.S. this year. Family members and coworkers are being vaccinated against the pathogenic virus.

The infectious periods when the employees were working with food are: McDonald’s, May 27 – June 17; Pizza Hut, May 28 – June 18; Paul’s Polar Park Drive Inn, May 21 – June 19; Sakura, June 07 – 28; and Sam’s Club, May 12-June 02.  Anyone who ate food or drank a beverage at those facilities on those dates could have picked up the virus.

Unfortunately, the hepatitis A and immune globulin vaccinations are only effective if given within two weeks of exposure. That means that anyone who ate at those venues after June 15, 2018 are no longer eligible for a shot. Those people must watch themselves for the symptoms of hepatitis A.

Those symptoms include abdominal pain, dark urine, fatigue, jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin), fever, loss of appetite, light or clay colored stools, nausea, and vomiting. People usually get sick two weeks to 50 days after they are exposed to the virus.

The Bureau for Public Health in West Virginia is providing free hepatitis A vaccines to anyone who has potentially been exposed to the virus, along with food service workers, and anyone who lives in the same household as a patient. You can get more information by calling the health department at 304-348-8050.

 

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