October 6, 2020

Taco Bell Hepatitis A Exposure in Chilhowie, Virginia

A Taco Bell hepatitis A exposure may have occurred in Chilhowie, Virginia, according to the Virginia Department of Health. That restaurant is located at 153 VA-107 in Chilhowie. Anyone who ate at that restaurant from April 14 to April 30, 2020 could have been exposed to the virus.

Taco Bell Hepatitis A Exposure in Chilhowie, Virginia

Dr. Karen Shelton, director of the health district said in a statement, “Individuals who ate food from Taco Bell in Chilhowie during that time and who have not been previously vaccinated for hepatitis A or have not previously had the disease are recommended to receive the hepatitis A vaccine. This may help prevent, or lessen the severity of, illness. The vaccine works best if given within 2 weeks of exposure and may not prevent infection with Hepatitis A for all, but it can help protect many who have been exposed.”

According to the Health Department, the Taco Bell has been cooperating with this investigation and has been compliant with safe food handling practices. The restaurant was sanitized and all employees have been offered hepatitis A vaccinations.

Free hepatitis A vaccines are available to the public on Friday, May 8, 2020 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at the Smyth County Career and Technology Center at 147 Fox Valley Road, Marion. This will be a drive-through event before of the coronavirus pandemic. All participants must wear face covering and remain in their vehicles. No appointment is necessary. The vaccine will be most effective in anyone who ate at that restaurant after April 23, 2020.

After May 8, 2020, vaccines will be available at the Smyth County Health Department. Call 276-7881-7460 for more information.

People can contract the virus through person-to-person contact, through contaminated food or drink, or through contact with contaminated surfaces. Frequent handwashing with soap and water can help prevent transmission of this disease.

Symptoms of hepatitis A include jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin), fever, fatigue nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal pan, dark urine, and clay-colored stools. These symptoms usually appear 15 to 50 days after infection. If you ate at that restaurant during the above dates, you may be part of this Taco Bell hepatitis A event.




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