MSDH: Case of hepatitis A being investigated in Jones Co. restaurant employee

MSDH: Case of hepatitis A being investigated in Jones Co. restaurant employee
(Source: walb)

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The Mississippi State Department of Health is investigating a case of hepatitis A in a Jones County restaurant employee. Health officials believe this may have led to exposure for customers.

An employee of the Huddle House in Laurel was diagnosed with hepatitis A infection. While infectious, the employee worked at the restaurant on January 26 through January 29.

Customers who ate at the restaurant during that time may have been exposed to hepatitis A and should get a hepatitis A vaccination if they have not been previously vaccinated.

Those who think they may have been exposed to this case can receive a hepatitis A vaccination, free of charge, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, February 6 and Friday, February 7, at the Jones County Health Department at 5168 Old Highway 11 in Ellisville.

“It is unlikely that hepatitis A was transmitted to any customers from this particular case, but as a precaution, we do recommend the hep A vaccine for anyone who ate at the Huddle House from January 26 through January 29 if they have not already been vaccinated,” said MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers. “The management and staff of this restaurant are fully cooperating with our investigation in order to prevent illnesses as a result of this exposure.”

The spread of hepatitis A can be prevented by carefully washing hands with soap and water, including under the fingernails, after using the bathroom or changing diapers, and before preparing or eating food.

MSDH said there is an ongoing hepatitis A outbreak in Mississippi and surrounding states affecting those who use drugs, those who are in jail or were recently in jail, those with unstable housing or who are homeless, and men who have sex with men.

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