August 19, 2019

Hepatitis A In Food Worker at Two Idaho Restaurants

Two workers at two different restaurants in southwestern Idaho have been diagnosed with hepatitis A, according to the Central District Health Department. There is a hepatitis A outbreak in that state that has been ongoing since January 2019.

Hepatitis A In Food Worker at Two Idaho Restaurants

One of the sick food workers was at Red Robin at 211 West Parkcenter Boulevard in Boise, and the other worked at the Frontier Club at 116 East Broadway Avenue in Meridian, Idaho. If you were at customer at either of those venues on these dates listed below, ask your doctor about getting a hepatitis A or immune globulin vaccination.

The Frontier Club employee worked these days and shifts while contagious:

  • Friday, August 2 from 9 pm to close (approx. 2 am)
  • Saturday, August 3 from 9 pm to close (approx. 2 am)

The Red Robin employee worked these days while contagious:

  • July 18 – before 5 pm
  • July 19 – after 4 pm
  • July 20 – before 3 pm
  • July 21 – after 5 pm
  • July 22 – after 4 pm
  • July 24 – before 3 pm
  • July 27 – before 4 pm
  • July 28 – anytime
  • July 31 – anytime
  • August 1, 2, 3 – after 5 pm
  • August 4 – after 4 pm
  • August 5 – before 4 pm
  • August 7 – anytime

The chance of contracting hepatitis A from food or beverages is low, but exposures may have occurred. Unfortunately, the vaccinations are only effective if given within two weeks of exposure. That means that anyone who visited those restaurants after July 31, 2019 are no longer eligible.

Symptoms of hepatitis A include abdominal pain and discomfort, especially in the upper quadrant, dark urine, light clay colored stools, fever, fatigue, diarrhea, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes). These symptoms can start 15 to 50 days after exposure.

The Central District Health Department is offering free hepatitis A vaccinations to patrons of these Idaho restaurants. Insurance will be billed an administrative vaccine fee when applicable, but there will be no out of pocket expenses for customers of these restaurants. Call 208-321-2222 to make an appointment.

The best way to prevent this infection is to get vaccinated, especially if you work with the public. Thorough handwashing after using the bathroom and before preparing food and beverages can also help.

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