Incidences of Hepatitis A Increase Tenfold in West Virginia
WEST VIRGINIA — June 18, 2018
A restaurant has closed, due to a hepatitis A outbreak, a month after food service workers fell ill in West Virginia. One of the workers who contracted the highly contagious disease worked at a Taco Bell in Hurricane, and the another worked at a Pizza Hut in Charleston.
According to the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, visitors who had dinner at the restaurant between May 19th and June 12th are recommended to monitor themselves for symptoms of the virus.
Now the restaurant was closed; employees are currently on leave.
"The team member in question is on leave and won’t return to work until cleared by medical professionals. All team members currently working at this restaurant have been vaccinated, and the restaurant was thoroughly sanitized. Additionally, all team members have been offered additional training on illness policies and procedures. Ensuring the health and well-being of our team members and our customers is our highest priority, which is why we are taking this matter so seriously." said the restaurant owner.
Unfortunately, this is not the first hepatitis A outbreak in the area, with others having occurred recently in Kanawha and Putnam counties.
Since March 2018, the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health has reported an increase in the number of confirmed cases of acute hepatitis A virus. This increase in cases has primarily been among injection and non-injection drug users, homeless or mobile individuals, and those who have been recently incarcerated. It is usually transmitted person-to-person or by consuming contaminated food or water. A total of 248 incidents have been recorded so far.