According to press reports, Arkansans state health officials are urging all food service workers in Clay County, as well as people who recently ate at one gas station in particular, to get vaccinated against hepatitis A amid an outbreak that has infected a dozen Arkansans since February.
The latest food service worker to be infected was an employee of a Subway and Flash Market gas station at 105 N. Missouri Ave. in Corning. People who ate at the business between March 30 and Tuesday should seek care immediately if they haven’t been vaccinated, the state Department of Health said in a news release.
In Indiana, health officials in Floyd County say a case of Hepatitis A has been confirmed in a food service employee.
The Floyd County Health Department says the person works at the Taco Bell located at 900 Lafollette Center in Floyds Knobs. That restaurant is about a mile north of Interstate 64 on U.S. 150. Anyone who has eaten at the restaurant between April 1 and April 18 should get the Hepatitis A vaccine before April 30 to reduce the chance of infection.
Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver and is highly contagious. People become infected through contact with:
- Shared syringes used to inject drugs
- Foods prepared or served by infected persons
- Stool or blood of infected persons
- Inanimate objects that may have trace amounts of fecal material from hand contact.
The symptoms, which can vary greatly from severe to none at all, may include:
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach ache
- Dark (cola) colored urine
- Light colored stools.
Jaundice, the yellowing of the eyes or skin, may appear a few days after the onset of symptoms.
Persons can become ill 15-50 days after being exposed to the Hepatitis A virus. Most people feel sick for several weeks, but they usually recover completely and do not have lasting liver damage.