June 23, 2018

Kroger Employee in One Louisville, Kentucky Store Diagnosed with Hepatitis A

A Kroger employee who worked at a store at 4915 Dixie Highway in Louisville was diagnosed with hepatitis A. That person worked there from February 4 through  February 28, 2018, potentially exposing many people. Any produce purchased at that store during that time frame shold be thrown away.

Hepatitis A Kroger Louisville KY

No notice about this has been posted at the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, but a notice about the multi-county outbreak of hepatitis A was posted, stating that there have been 117 cases of the illness this year, most in the Jefferson County/Louisville area. In a typical year, only about 20 cases are reported.

The virus is highly contagious. It is passed from person to person through the fecal-oral route, which means that if an infected person doesn’t wash their hands well after using the bathroom, they can spread the virus. They can also contaminate food and drink.

Anyone who is infected will not show any symptoms for at least two weeks; and during that time they are infectious. That’s why it’s so critical to practice good hygiene, especially if you work in a job that exposes you to the public. Officials encourage people who work with food, school employees, and anyone employed in the healthcare field to get vaccinated against the disease.

The hepatitis A and immune globulin vaccines are only effective if given within two weeks of exposure. So if you bought produce from that specific Kroger store before February 19, 2018, it’s too late for a shot. All you can do is monitor yourself for the symptoms of the illness. Shots are available at doctor’s offices and most pharmacies.

The symptoms of hepatitis A include fever, loss of appetite, weight loss, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, yellowing of the eyes and skin (jaundice), clay-colored stools, dark urine, fatigue, and diarrhea. Most people get sick within 15 to 50 days after they have been exposed to the virus.

People can become seriously ill and die from this infection, particularly if they have some kind of liver disease. The virus primarily affects the liver.

If you purchased produce from the Kroger store in Louisville mentioned, and have been experiencing the symptoms of hepatitis A, see your doctor. There is no treatment for the illness, but palliative care is available.

 

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