A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

LFCHD warning customers of three area restaurants about risk of exposure to hepatitis A

Customers who ate at three area restaurants in November may have been exposed to hepatitis A.

As a result, anyone who ate at the following restaurants are advised to get a hepatitis A vaccination:

• Hardee’s, 2990 Richmond Road, Lexington; Nov. 23-26, 2018
• Waffle House, 2347 Buena Vista, Lexington; Nov. 11-19, 2018
• Waffle House, 4 Carol Road, Winchester; Nov. 20, 2018

While it is relatively uncommon for restaurant customers to become infected with the hepatitis A virus due to an infected food handler, anyone who consumed food or drink at these locations during the stated time period is advised to get a hepatitis A vaccination. This is recommended whether the customers live in Lexington or elsewhere.

The ill staff is not working at the restaurants and will remain off work until cleared to return. Environmental Health staff has worked with the restaurant to ensure proper cleaning of the facility and reviewed recommendations regarding employee health and exclusion of ill workers going forward.

Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that is usually spread when a person unknowingly eats or drinks something contaminated by small amounts of stool from an infected person. Washing your hands with soap and warm water after using the bathroom, changing a diaper or before making food and drinks can help stop the spread of hepatitis A.

Symptoms of hepatitis A are fatigue, decreased appetite, stomach pain, nausea, darkened urine, pale stools and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes). People can become ill 15-50 days after being exposed to the virus. Anyone experiencing symptoms should seek medical attention.

The best ways to prevent hepatitis A are to get vaccinated and to practice good hand washing. The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department recommends the hepatitis A vaccination for everyone in the community as the number of cases in the region and throughout the state continues to climb. The Lexington-Fayette County and Clark County health departments will be working with the restaurants at the above locations to provide hepatitis A vaccinations for their employees.

The hepatitis A vaccine is available at most pharmacies and medical providers. If you are in a high-risk group (drug user, homeless or men who have sex with men), please call the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department at 859-288-2483 to get help obtaining the vaccine. Clark County residents can contact the Clark County Health Department at 859-744-4482 to schedule their vaccination.

From Lexington-Fayette County Health Department

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