Potential Hepatitis A exposure from restaurant worker in Cartersville

June 26, 2019--11:41 a.m.

GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH

A case of hepatitis A has been diagnosed in a food handler at Willy’s Mexicana Grill, 100 Main Street, Cartersville. An investigation found that this employee worked while infectious this past May 31 through June 17. It is relatively rare for restaurant patrons to become infected with hepatitis A virus due to an infected food handler, but anyone who consumed food or drinks at Willy’s Mexicana Grill on the above dates should contact their healthcare provider to determine if a hepatitis A immunization is needed to prevent the disease.

Anyone who consumed food and/or drinks at the restaurant on the dates that the employee worked is also asked to:

1. Monitor their health for symptoms of hepatitis A infection up to 50 days after exposure.
2. Wash their hands with soap and warm water frequently and thoroughly, especially after using the bathroom and before preparing food.
3. Stay at home and contact their healthcare provider immediately if symptoms of hepatitis A infection develop.

Careful hand washing, including under the fingernails, with soap and water, along with vaccination of anyone at risk of infection, will prevent the spread of this disease.

Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver that can cause loss of appetite, nausea, tiredness, fever, stomach pain, dark-colored urine and light-colored stools. Yellowing of the skin or eyes may also appear. People can become ill up to 50 days after being exposed to the virus.

Hepatitis A is acquired 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.

For more information on hepatitis A, go to www.cdc.gov/hepatitis.

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