Kanawha County O'Charley's employee diagnosed with Hepatitis A

Modesto Morganelli
Mag 17, 2018

A Kanawha-Charleston Health Department news release says an O'Charley's employee was diagnosed with hepatitis A. The health department says this is the third Kanawha County hepatitis A investigation involving a restaurant since a number of cases began to arise in February.

All of the restaurant's employees will be required to get the hepatitis A vaccine before returning to work.

Inspectors were on site at the establishment and spent several days talking with employees and observing food handling procedures.

After review, Stanley Mills, director of environmental health services, identified no unsafe food handling practices warranting the health department issuing a warning to restaurant patrons suggesting immunizations because of possible exposure.

Officials at the health department say they have investigated and the risk of customers becoming infected is "very low".

Symptoms of hepatitis A include loss of appetite, nausea, tiredness, fever, stomach pain, brown colored urine, light colored stools, and yellowing of the skin or eyes. "DPH recommends all children, ages 1 year through 18, receive the Hepatitis A vaccine as well as adults who want to protect themselves from an acute hepatitis A infection".

West Virginia has been identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as part of a multistate Hepatitis A outbreak, joining other states including California, Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky and Utah. "In these counties with local transmission of the hepatitis A virus, we recommend everyone be vaccinated per guidelines to help stop this outbreak".

The health department is expected to screen for insurance eligibility before using the state-supplied vaccine. KCHD has provided on-site vaccination clinics at local shelters and soup kitchens throughout the Kanawha Valley and is in the process of identifying locations in Putnam County that serve targeted high-risk populations.

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