November 14, 2019

Hepatitis A in Employee at E & B Discount Grocery in Hattiesburg, MS

An employee at E & B Discount Grocery at 5395 Old Highway 42 in Hattiesburg, Mississippi has been diagnosed with hepatitis A, according to a news release issued by the Mississippi State Department of Health. While infectious, that employee handled fresh produce and packaged smoked and uncooked meats. Anyone who bought those products between October 10 and October 24, 2019 may have been exposed to the virus.

Hepatitis A in Employee at E & B Discount Grocery in Hattiesburg, MS

MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers said in a statement, “The risk of transmission of hepatitis A in this situation is likely very low. However, as a precaution, we recommend that anyone who purchased the listed products in this time period should consider getting a hepatitis A vaccination if they have not been previously immunized. The management and staff of E & B Discount Grocery are fully cooperating with MSDH to prevent illnesses as a result of this exposure.”

Anyone who thinks they may have been exposed to the virus at E & B Discount Grocery can get a free hepatitis A vaccine free of charge today, November 4, 2019 at the Forrest County Health Department, located at 5008 Old Highway 42 in Hattiesburg, although the vaccine is only effective if given within two weeks of exposure. Those people should monitor themselves for the symptoms of hepatitis A.

Those symptoms include fever, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, abdominal cramps, dark urine, clay-colored stools, and jaundice, which is yellowing of the skin and eyes. There is an ongoing hepatitis A outbreak in Mississippi.

The best way to prevent the transmission of this virus is to get vaccinated, especially if you work with the public. Thorough handwashing after using the bathroom, changing diapers, and caring for someone who is sick, and before eating and preparing food is another good way to stop the spread. And, people should stay home from work or school, especially if they have a diarrheal illness, until they are well.

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