December 12, 2018

Hepatitis A Warning for Red Lobster Patrons in Novi, Michigan

An employee of a Red Lobster restaurant at 27760 Novi Road in Novi, Michigan has been diagnosed with hepatitis A, according to the Oakland County Health Division. Anyone who ate there between January 14 and February 14, 2018 may have been exposed to the pathogenic virus.

Hepatitis A

Vaccinations are only effective if given within two weeks of exposure. That means that anyone who ate food or drank beverages at that facility before February 5, 2018 is no longer eligible for a shot. All you can do is monitor yourself for eat symptoms of hepatitis A and see your doctor if they develop.

Those symptoms include jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), lethargy, loss of appetite, weight loss, clay colored stools, dark urine, and diarrhea. Most people get sick between two weeks and 50 days after they are exposed.

Kathy Forzley, director of health and human services for Oakland County said in a statement, “Vaccination can prevent the disease if given within 14 days after potential exposure. If you have eaten at this location during these dates and have not been vaccinated for hepatitis A or have a sudden onset of any symptoms, contact your doctor.”

The Oakland County Health Division’s Nurse on Call will be on a phone one from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm Monday, February 19, 2018 to answer any questions. You can call 800-848-5533 to speak to her.

A special hepatitis A vaccine clinic will be open today. The hours are 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at 1010 E. West Maple Road in Walled Lake in the Easterseals office. You can also get vaccinations at many pharmacies and health care provider offices. The Health Division offices in Southfield and  Pontiac will offer vaccines at North Oakland Health Center, 1200 North Telegraph Road, Building 34 East, and South Oakland Health Center, 27725 Greenfield Road, in Southfield.

Unfortunately, the Pontiac and Southfield Clinics will be closed on Monday, February 19, 2018 for President’s Day. If you need a vaccination today, go to a pharmacy or your doctor’s office, or to the clinic in Walled Lake.

Dr. Pamela Hackert, medical director for the Health Division said, “Michigan is experiencing a serious hepatitis A outbreak. Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that can range from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious illness lasting several months. Hepatitis A is contagious but preventable with vaccination, good hygiene, and proper sanitation of surfaces.”

Adults need two doses of the vaccine, given six month apart. No one will be denied services at the county facilities if they can’t pay. A discounted/sliding fee schedule is also available.

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