December 8, 2022

Possible Hepatitis A Exposure at Wendy’s on North Arkansas, Russellville

A possible hepatitis A exposure at Wendy’s restaurant located at 721 North Arkansas in Russellville, Arkansas has been announced after an employee tested positive for the virus, according to the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH). Hepatitis A is a very contagious virus that affects the liver. It is spread through person-to-person contact, through contaminated surfaces (fomites) and through contaminated food and drink.

Possible Hepatitis A Exposure at Wendy's on North Arkansas, Russellville

Anyone who ate at that restaurant from December 12, 2021 through January 3, 2022 should seek care if they have never been vaccinated against hepatitis A. Since the vaccine is only effective if given within two weeks of exposure, anyone who was at that restaurant from December 12, 2021 through December 22, 2021 may not be eligible for one now. But check with your doctor to be sure. Those people need to monitor their health for the symptoms of hepatitis A.

Those symptoms usually appear two weeks to 50 days after exposure. They include a fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, especially in the upper right quadrant, diarrhea, dark urine, light clay colored stools, joint pain, and jaundice, which is yellowing of the eyes and skin. Some people, especially children, may have no symptoms. People can transmit the virus two weeks before they even know they are infected.

While most people recover with no lasting effects, some can be sick for months. And some people, especially those with liver disease, can be ill enough to be hospitalized and can die.

You can get the vaccine at most pharmacies and at doctor’s offices. You can also get one by appointment at the Pope County Local Health Unit. To schedule an appointment, call 479-968-6004. A hepatitis A vaccine is required for entry into kindergarten and first grade in Arkansas as of 2014.

The best way to prevent the spread of this illness is to get vaccinated. People should also stay home from school or work if they are ill, especially with a diarrheal illness. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after using the bathroom, after taking care of someone who is sick, and before eating and preparing food for others.

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