A case of hepatitis A has been diagnosed in a food handler at the Zaxby’s located at 5971 Ogeechee Road. A public health investigation found that this employee worked while infectious, March 29 through April 3.
It is relatively rare for restaurant patrons to become infected with hepatitis A virus due to an infected food handler. However, anyone who consumed food and/or drink at the restaurant between March 29 and April 3 should watch for the symptoms of hepatitis A infection.
Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver, and symptoms may include:
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach pain
- Brown-colored urine and light-colored stools
- Yellowing of the skin of eyes
Symptoms can appear up to 50 days after exposure to the virus. If anyone develops these symptoms, they should stay at home and contact their healthcare provider immediately.
There is also a safe and effective vaccine for hepatitis A that is available through some healthcare providers and all health departments. Even if the vaccine is given after the person was exposed, it can provide protection against developing hepatitis A.
Careful hand washing, including under the fingernails, with soap and water, is always an important tool to prevent the spread of this and many other diseases. Hepatitis A usually spreads when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food, or drinks contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from an infected person. The virus spreads when an infected person does not wash his/her hands adequately after using the toilet or engages in behaviors that increase risk of infection.
The following flyer has more information about hepatitis A.
Additional information can be found at cdc.gov/hepatitis.