burger-king.jpgThe Ashland-Boyd County Health Department in Kentucky is investigating a recent Hepatitis A case in the community. The agency says a worker at the Burger King on Winchester Avenue had the disease. According to a press release, persons who went through the drive-thru multiple times during the given time frame or have low immunity would be at greatest risk, even though transmission through food service workers is rare since hand washing among food service workers is regularly emphasized.

Co-workers of the case have received the vaccine and are safe to work with food at this time. The restaurant management has been working with the health department collaboratively on the investigation.

The Health Department says customers who may have eaten products from the drive-thru during the time frame mentioned above should contact their primary care physician especially if they are having symptoms such as nausea, vomiting or dark urine.

The Ashland-Boyd County Health Department announced that the agency will be hosting a Hepatitis A vaccination clinic for patrons who ate products from the drive-thru of the Burger King on Winchester Avenue during the week of November 7th and the days of November 15th and 17th. Even though the risk of becoming ill is low the health department is providing vaccine to protect patrons of the restaurant.

The clinic will take place on Wednesday, December 1st from 8:30 am until 4:00 pm in the clinic building of the health department’s campus. All other clinical services will be suspended on this date due to the vaccination clinic. Doors to the building will not open until 8:00 am.

All pediatric Hepatitis A vaccinations will cost $2.00 and fee will be payable by check or cash the date of service. The health department is only able to bill Kentucky Medicaid during this clinic.

The health department has a limited supply of Adult Hepatitis A vaccine from the state that will be available for $2.00 and once this supply of vaccine is exhausted the cost will be $25.00. This vaccine is vaccine that has been purchased from the manufacturer for this clinic. All fees are payable by check or cash on the date of service.

In early August the Chatham County Public Health Department in North Carolina urged people who ate food at the Burger King located at 1712 East 11th St. (Hwy 64) in Siler City on August 2 or August 3 from 6 p.m. to closing be immunized for hepatitis A by Tuesday. Both immune globulin (also called gamma globulin) and hepatitis A vaccine can prevent hepatitis A virus infections if given within 14 days of exposure.

The early signs and symptoms of hepatitis A appear 2-6 weeks after exposure and commonly include mild fever, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, tiredness, pain in the upper right side of the abdomen, dark urine, light color stools and jaundice (yellowness of eyes or skin). Even mildly ill persons can still be highly infectious. Persons with symptoms similar to hepatitis should consult a physician, even if symptoms are mild. Hepatitis A virus is usually spread when a person ingests fecal matter – even in microscopic amounts – from contact with objects, food, or drinks contaminated by feces or stool of an infected person. Persons are at increased risk of hepatitis A when they have been in close and continuous contact with an infected individual, particularly in a household or day care setting. Fecal matter can remain on the hands unless hands are washed often and thoroughly. Careful hand washing is critical to preventing the spread of hepatitis A and should include vigorous washing of hands with soap and running water for minimum of 20 seconds. All surfaces should be washed, including the back of the hands, wrists, between fingers and under fingernails.