DHEC was notified on Sept. 17 that an employee of the Lyman-area restaurant tested positive for hepatitis A. An investigation of this case revealed hepatitis A illness in a close contact that works at the Duncan-area Hardee’s location. Customers and staff who consumed food or drink at these restaurants during these dates could have been exposed to the hepatitis A virus.
“Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by a virus,” said Dr. Anna-Kathryn Rye, M.D. and medical consultant in DHEC’s Bureau of Disease Control. “People usually become sick within two to six weeks after being exposed to the virus, so it’s important to get treatment as soon as possible to prevent the virus from developing into hepatitis A infection.”
DHEC is working with these restaurants to identify and contact customers and staff who might have been exposed to the virus. This illness is not a foodborne outbreak.
Rye recommended that customers and staff who as of today ate at the Lyman-area restaurant between Sept. 4 and Sept. 15, 2015, or the Duncan-area restaurant between Sept. 4 and Sept. 13, 2015, should receive post-exposure treatment for hepatitis A.
Post-exposure treatment is recommended for individuals if it can be administered less than two weeks from their date of consuming anything from the restaurant with the last date being Sept. 15
Customers and staff who ate at these restaurants during these dates are encouraged to come to DHEC’s Spartanburg County Health Department or Greenville County Health Department for post-exposure treatment on Saturday, Sept. 19 or Sunday, Sept. 20 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Both health departments will also offer post-exposure treatment on Monday, Sept. 21 from 8:30 a.m to 5 p.m.
The Spartanburg County Health Department is located at 151 E. Wood St. in Spartanburg. The Greenville Health Department is located at 200 University Ridge in Greenville.
The vaccine is of no proven benefit when administered more than 14 days after exposure. As of today, customers and staff who ate at these restaurants between Aug. 31 and Sept. 3 are therefore not likely to benefit from post-exposure treatment. Anyone who ate at one these Hardee’s restaurants between these dates should watch for symptoms of infection, such as nausea, vomiting, and jaundice, which would cause yellowing of the eyes and skin. Seek medical care if symptoms develop.
If you have a question or concern about possible exposure, please call DHEC at 1-800-868-0404. Operators are available Friday until 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 6 p.m., and next Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 6 p.m.