UPDATE: Food service worker diagnosed with Hep A in Cabell County

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CABELL COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- UPDATE 8/15/18 @ 3:50 p.m.
For the first time in more than a month, the Cabell-Huntington Health Department has a new case of a food service worker with hepatitis A.

Health department officials say an employee at Gino's Pizza on 10th Street in Huntington has the disease. The infectious periods are between Aug. 1 and 3 as well as Aug. 6 and 7.

If you ate or drank at the restaurant on any of those days, it's recommended that you get the Hep A vaccine. "Vaccinations are highly effective if received within 14 days of exposure," CHHD stated in a press release.

However, health officials say the risk of getting the disease is very low. It is a disease of the liver spread by the "fecal-oral" route. They say no cases from exposure at the restaurant have been reported and it is safe for operation.

The restaurant released this statement:

“Upon being informed that a former employee of our 10th Street Gino's Pizza was diagnosed with hepatitis A we notified the Cabell-Huntington Health Department," Nancy Smith said. "We followed the guidelines set forth by the Cabell-Huntington Health Department to clean and sanitize everything. We take the health and safety of our customers, our employees and our community seriously. All employees are in the process of receiving the hep A vaccine."

Workers at the health department say getting the vaccine and thoroughly washing your hands can help prevent hepatitis A.

UPDATE 6/26/18 @ 5:59 p.m.
Another food service worker case of hepatitis A has been confirmed in Cabell County.

The Cabell-Huntington Health Department confirmed a case at the Cracker Barrel in Barboursville.

Health department officials say there is a very low risk of customers contracting the disease.

However, anyone who ate or drank at the restaurant between June 13 and June 22 should consider getting the hepatitis A vaccine, health officials say.

According to a health department press release, the restaurant voluntarily closed for disinfecting.

"At Cracker Barrel, nothing is more important to us than the health and well-being of our employees and guests," the press release states. "In support of Cabell-Huntington Health Department’s investigation into this regional outbreak, we’ve taken proactive steps including voluntarily closing our store for cleaning and sanitizing as well as for the vaccination of all employees.”

UPDATE 6/8/18 @ 4:35 p.m.
The number of hepatitis A cases in Cabell County continues to rise.

As of Friday, there are 36 confirmed cases, the Cabell-Huntington Health Department reports. That's five more cases than reported at the end of May.

The agency says the cases are linked to a virus strain found in a multistate hepatitis A outbreak.

For the week of June, four new cases were confirmed, including one new case among food service workers, bringing that number to three for the outbreak in the county. There have been no restaurant-related cases of hepatitis A -- any customers actually getting the virus from a food service worker.

The first Cabell County confirmed case in this outbreak was reported April 9.



UPDATE 6/5/18 @ 10:05 a.m.
The Cabell-Huntington Health Department has confirmed another case of hepatitis A in a food service worker.

Tuesday morning, the health department announced that an employee at the Applebee's on Mall Road in Barboursville has tested positive for the disease.

"While the risk of disease transmission is low, persons who have not been vaccinated against hepatitis A and who consumed food at the restaurant between May 22, 2018 and May 31st, 2018 should consider getting hepatitis A vaccine injection not more than two weeks after their exposure to help prevent infection," said Cabell County Health Officer, Dr. Michael Kilkenny.

CHHD has a limited number of vaccines available for people without insurance.

The restaurant has revealed no breach of safe food handling protocol, according to the health department. They voluntarily closed for disinfectant cleaning.

"Applebee's franchisees are committed to maintaining a clean and safe environment for all guests and team members. Immediately upon learning that a team member of the 19 Mall Road location in Barboursville, West Virginia had been infected with hepatitis A from an outside source, the local franchisee closed the restaurant to thoroughly clean and sanitize it. The franchisee also worked in collaboration with the Cabell-Huntington Health Department to arrange for a clinic to vaccinate and protect all team members. The risk to guests who've visited this restaurant is very low, and the restaurant will reopen on Wednesday following final inspection by the health department on Tuesday," said Kevin Carroll, Chief Operations Officer, Applebee's.

UPDATE 6/1/18 @ 3:28 p.m.
The number of confirmed cases of hepatitis A in Cabell County is growing as part of a multistate outbreak.

The Cabell-Huntington Health Department reports that there are 31 cases as of June 1. That's up from 18 cases on May 25.

Health department officials say they are working closely with the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health.

Recommendations for the public have not changed.

People should practice good hand washing, especially after using the restroom or changing diapers.

UPDATE 5/31/18 @ 10:10 a.m.
The Cabell-Huntington Health Department confirms there is a case of hepatitis A at a restaurant in Barboursville.

A food service worker at IHOP has been diagnosed with the disease.

If you have not been vaccinated and you ate at the restaurant between May 17 and May 25, health department officials say you should consider getting the hepatitis A vaccine. They suggest getting the shot no more than two weeks after exposure.

The vaccine is "highly effective" if you get it within 14 days of exposure.

Health officials say the risk of getting the disease is still low though. They have not received any reports of someone getting Hep A from exposure at IHOP.

"A CHHD investigation of the restaurant has revealed no breach of safe food handling protocol," the health department stated in a press release Thursday.

IHOP voluntarily closed to disinfect and clean, health officials say. The restaurant is now back open.

The health department has a limited number of vaccines available for people without insurance who can't afford it.

"Hepatitis A vaccine is available from many health care provider offices, pharmacies, and urgent care clinics, but you should call ahead to ensure availability," health officials stated.

Jay Johns, IHOP senior vice president, operations, released the following statement:

“The health and safety of team members and guests are of the utmost importance to IHOP and our franchisees. Upon learning one of their team members at the Barboursville, WV location was affected, the franchisee, in collaboration with the Cabell-Huntington Health Department, immediately asked all team members to get vaccinated and close the restaurant to clean and sanitize before reopening to serve our guests. We thank the Cabell-Huntington Health Department their partnership to safe guard the health of our community."

UPDATE 5/25/18 @ 3:50 p.m.
The number of confirmed hepatitis A cases in Cabell County has increased to 18, the Cabell-Huntington Health Department reports.

Those numbers are as of Friday -- compared with 14 confirmed cases Friday, May 18.

The first Cabell County case in this outbreak was reported April 9, 2018, and the first food service worker case was reported May 17.

Health officials say a Cabell County resident who had hepatitis A died last month, but it was determined that hepatitis was not the cause of death.

The health department says it is working to immunize high-risk people, as well as those who work with high-risk people. It also says it's advising restaurants about the vaccination of food service workers.



UPDATE 5/18/18 @ 6:05 p.m.
The number of reported hepatitis A cases in Cabell County has doubled in a week, the Cabell-Huntington Health Department says.

According to the agency, the number of reported cases as of Friday is 14 -- compared with seven on May 11.

The first Cabell County case in this outbreak was reported April 9, 2018, and the first food service worker case was reported on Thursday.



ORIGINAL STORY 5/17/18
A case of hepatitis A has been confirmed in a food service worker at O’Charley’s Restaurant and Bar in Barboursville, the Cabell-Huntington Health Department says.

The agency says the window of exposure to customers is between May 6-13, although their risk of getting hepatitis A is considered very low.

It is the first confirmed hepatitis A case in a food worker in Cabell County, while some neighboring counties in our region have had recent cases, including Kanawha and Putnam counties in West Virginia and Boyd County in Kentucky.

Hepatitis A often is transmitted among IV drug users and is associated with poor hygiene. Health officials say proper hand washing is one of the best defenses to getting the virus.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.



 
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