Preble County public health confirms hepatitis a in food service worker

EATON — Preble County Public Health (PCPH) has confirmed a case of hepatitis A in a food service worker at Jell’s Sports Grill located at 117 E. Main St., Eaton.

While the risk of disease transmission is low, anyone who has not been vaccinated against hepatitis A and who consumed food or drink at the restaurant between May 14 and June 13, 2018 should consider getting the hepatitis A vaccine and/or consulting their medical provider, according to Preble County Health Commissioner Erik Balster.

The hepatitis A vaccine is available from many health care provider offices, pharmacies, and urgent care clinics in the county. Balster recommends calling ahead to ensure availability. PCPH has limited vaccine available for individuals without insurance who can’t afford it.

“The purpose of this alert is preventive,” Balster said. “No cases resulting from exposure at the restaurant have been reported. A PCPH investigation of the restaurant has revealed no breach of safe food handling protocol.”

According to Balster, hepatitis A is a viral disease of the liver and is primarily spread from person to person by the “fecal-oral” route, often by inadequate handwashing after using the toilet or changing diapers.

Persons suspecting that they have symptoms of hepatitis should contact their health care provider. Persons working as food handlers who experience symptoms of hepatitis should not work and should be seen by a health care provider. The symptoms include nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, fatigue, fever, abdominal cramps, dark colored urine, light or whitish- colored stools, and jaundice (a yellow color to the eyes or skin).

Incubation period is two to six weeks from exposure to symptoms. Persons with questions should contact their personal health care provider or a public health nurse at Preble County Public Health by phone at (937) 472-0087.

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