July 23, 2019

Food Worker at Ken’s Express Mart in Ashland, Kentucky Diagnosed with Hepatitis A

A food employee at Ken’s Express Mart at 954 29th Street in Ashland, Kentucky has been diagnosed with hepatitis a, according to news reports. That person prepared fresh food at the fresh food counter at that facility.

Hepatitis A

Anyone who ate fresh food from that store from March 22 through April 7, 2018, may have been exposed to the pathogenic virus. If you did eat food from that venue before March 28, 2018, it’s too late for a vaccination. All you can do is monitor yourself for the symptoms of hepatitis A for the next few weeks.

Those symptoms include fatigue, no appetite, stomach pain, nausea, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), clay-colored stools, and dark urine. Symptoms typically appear within two weeks to 50 days after exposure to the bacteria.

If you ate there on March 28 or later, you can get either an immune globulin or hepatitis A vaccination. But make sure that you get the shot within two weeks of your possible exposure.

Ken’s Express Mart owner and employees have been cooperating with the Ashland-Boyd County Health Department on their investigation. Employees are now only allowed to work if they have been vaccinated against the disease.

Hepatitis A has been an issue in the United States for months. Many states, including Kentucky, have seen outbreaks of this preventable disease. There have been 23 cases of hepatitis A in Ashland-Boyd County since August 2017.

The virus is very contagious and easily spreads through person-to-person contact, from contact with contaminated surfaces, and through contaminated food and drink.

To prevent the spread of this illness, it’s important to follow some simple rules. First, stay home from work or school if you are sick, especially if you have diarrhea. Second, always wash your hands well with soap and water after using the bathroom, caring for someone who is sick, or changing diapers. And consider getting a hepatitis A vaccination, especially if you work with the public.



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