Hepatitis A virus identified in a food handler in Hamilton

Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 4:46 PM CDT
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HAMILTON, Ala. (WBRC) - The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH), in cooperation with Huddle House in Hamilton, is investigating a food handler who is infected with hepatitis A virus.

As a preventative measure, ADPH is suggesting customers who consumed food, whether dine-in, pickup, or delivery from Huddle House, located at 210 River Road, between the dates of July 9 through July 21, 2021, be identified.

ADPH doctors said anyone who ate the food during this time may need the hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin to reduce their chance of illness.

Hepatitis A is a viral infection that can be transmitted person-to-person and by eating food or drinks prepared by an infected person.

Hepatitis A vaccine can prevent infection, but only if given within 14 days of exposure to hepatitis A. The hepatitis A vaccine can be given to persons over 12 months of age who have not completed the two-dose hepatitis A vaccine series.  Persons over 40 years old may also receive immune globulin.

”Adults with hepatitis A may have symptoms that include fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea and jaundice.  These symptoms usually resolve within two months of infection,” said Dr. Burnestine Taylor, Medical Officer for Disease Control and Prevention, ADPH.

Doctors said children less than 6 years of age generally do not have symptoms or have an unrecognized infection. Almost all people who get hepatitis A recover completely.

Out of an abundance of caution, the restaurants in both Hamilton and Winfield were closed for commercial cleaning. The restaurants had no violations during recent environmental assessments and continue to be highly responsive and cooperative to help rectify this situation.

For more information, please visit the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hav/index.htm or https://www.alabamapublichealth.gov/hepatitis/index.html

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