Health Officials Warn of Possible Hepatitis A Outbreak
The Department of Health in Pennsylvania declared a Hepatitis A outbreak after approximately 171 cases were reported in the state over the past several months.
Dr. Rachel Levine, the state’s Secretary of Health, confirmed the outbreak and told Fox News that Ohio and West Virginia had just over 2,000 reported cases during the same period.
As per The Department of Health and Environmental Control, customers who ate at the Wild Wing Cafe between May 1 and May 15 this year may have been exposed to Hepatitis A.
An empty restaurant during what is usually a busy lunch hour. Hepatitis A was confirmed in an employee at Caribou's Burger Boy late last week, keeping some people away. But some others say it was an honest mistake #NEWSCENTERmaine pic.twitter.com/8v7YOHdWFd— Jackie Mundry (@j_mundry) May 21, 2019
This follows after three Wild Wing Cafe employees tested positive for the virus. The restaurant has been cooperating with health officials.
Authorities are also investigating a possible outbreak at Caribou's Burger Boy after an employee was tested positive for the virus.
Stop the spread of #HepatitisA! Wash your hands properly after using the bathroom and get vaccinated! Especially if you’re at a higher risk! Visit #FLHealth’s #HepA to learn more: https://t.co/Lcdd8uD1Xe pic.twitter.com/G89B5ljbeO— Florida Dept. Health (@HealthyFla) May 21, 2019
Anyone who believes they may have been exposed to the virus can reach out to the Department of Health and Environmental Control for preventive treatment.
Dr. Linda Bell, MD and state epidemiologist, confirmed that the food handler was infected but stated the risk of contamination remains low:
"The risk of the hepatitis A virus spreading from an infected employee to customers in a restaurant setting is low. The concern here is not the restaurant. As a precaution, in these situations, vaccination should be considered for individuals who were exposed during the time the food handler was contagious."
Anyone over the age of 18 can get vaccinated at local pharmacies without a prescription, while anyone who ate the restaurant this month should contact their medical practitioner for a checkup.
Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease. Symptoms of the virus include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, belly pain, and yellowing of the eyes and skin.
Back in March, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recalled more than 4,800 pounds beef due to possible E. coli contamination.
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