February 17, 2020

Employee of Laurel, MS Huddle House Diagnosed With Hepatitis A

An employee of the Huddle House located at 1304 Chantilly Street in Laurel, Mississippi has been diagnosed with hepatitis A, according to the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH). Customers of that facility may have been exposed to the virus.

Employee of Laurel, MS Huddle House Diagnosed With Hepatitis A

While infectious, the employee worked at the restaurant from January 26 through January 29, 2020. Luckily, those dates are within the two week time period when a hepatitis A or immune globulin vaccination is effective. Anyone who ate at the restaurant during that time period should get a vaccination if they have not been previously vaccinated.

Anyone who has had this illness should have immunity against the virus. Check with your doctor if you aren’t sure. One of the challenges with this illness is that people are infectious for two weeks before they even show any symptoms.

Anyone who may have been exposed to the virus at Huddle House can get a free hepatitis A vaccine from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm on Thursday, February 6, 2020 and Friday, February 7, 2020 at the Jones County Health Department. That facility is located at 5168 Old Highway 11 in Ellisville, Mississippi.

MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers said in a statement, “It is unlikely that hepatitis A was transmitted to any customers from this particular case, but as a precaution, we do recommend the hep A vaccine for anyone who ate at the Huddle House from January 26 through January 29 if they have not already been vaccinated. “The management and staff of this restaurant are fully cooperating with our investigation in order to prevent illnesses as a result of this exposure.”

Hepatitis A is a very contagious virus that causes liver diseases. Symptoms of hepatitis A include abdominal pain, dark urine, clay-colored stools, diarrhea, nausea, fever, vomiting, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes). The virus is spread through contaminated feces. People can get sick if they eat food that has been contaminated, or if they touch contaminated surfaces. The virus can also spread through person-to-person contact.

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