August 17, 2018

West Virginia Officials Recommend Hepatitis A Vaccinations For Food Service Workers

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) is requesting that the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department provide hepatitis A vaccination clinics for restaurant and food service employees in those counties. Most of the cases in the hepatitis A outbreak that has plagued West Virginia have occurred in those counties.

Hepatitis A Louisville Kentucky

Dr. Rahul Gupta, State Health Officer and Commissioner of DHHR’s Bureau for Public Health said in a statement, “I am issuing a strong recommendation to all Kanawha and Putnam County food service vendors and restaurants to have their employees vaccinated for hepatitis A, since national data indicate that drug use among the food service industry is about 19.1 percent. Because of the high incidence of drug use reported in West Virginia and among the food industry, this is a proactive measure to vaccinate a high-risk group in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.  We strongly advise that all food service owners take this recommendation seriously, and be proactive in helping to ensure their employees get vaccinated against hepatitis A.”

Eight food establishments in Kanawha, Putnam, and Cabell counties have had a food service worker diagnosed with hepatitis A. No customers of those establishments have been diagnosed with the illness.

The hepatitis A virus is very contagious, and is easily passed from person to person through contaminated food and drink, through contact, and through contact with contaminated surfaces. While the risk of transmission to the public is low, outbreaks do occur.

Statewide, there have been 106 confirmed, probable, and suspected cases of Hepatitis A. The illness caused by this virus can be prevented with a vaccination, of either the hepatitis A or immune globulin shot. But the shot is only effective if given within two weeks of exposure. Since people are asymptomatic for weeks before symptoms begin, but are infectious during that time, this crucial time frame can easily be passed.

Mass vaccination clinics for hepatitis A are scheduled for today, May 25, 2018, and next week in the area. One will be held May 25, 2018 at the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. The second will be held May 30, 2018, at the Charleston Civic Center from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. Finally, another clinic will be eld at the St. George conference Center at Court and Lee Streets from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.

After exposure, symptoms can occur within two weeks up to 50 days. Symptoms of hepatitis A include lethargy, yellowing skin and eyes (jaundice), clay colored stools, dark urine, joint paint, and loss of appetite.

Report Your Food Poisoning Case
[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]
×
×

Home About Site Map Contact Us Sponsored by Pritzker Hageman, P.A., a Minneapolis, MN law firm that helps food poisoning victims nationally.