The Cabell-Huntington Health Department has confirmed a case of hepatitis A in a food worker at O’Charley’s Restaurant and Bar on Champion Drive in Barboursville, West Virginia.
In a news release CHHD says there are no confirmed cases of the illness from exposure at the restaurant and said it is safe to remain open.
“While the risk of disease transmission is very low, persons who have not been vaccinated against hepatitis A and who consumed food or drink at the restaurant between May 6 and May 13, 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 says it has a limited number of vaccines for people without insurance who can’t afford to get one. The agency recommends people contact their health care provider to see if they have vaccines available or if they need one.
The restaurant chain released this statement following the news:
“O’Charley’s is committed to the health and safety of employees and guests. As soon as O’Charley’s was made aware of the situation, they alerted the department of health to ensure all necessary steps were taken to guarantee the safety of their restaurant community. The department of health reviewed O’Charley’s food handling practices and did not find a need for critical action beyond establishing general awareness of the incident among guests. O’Charley’s will continue partnering with the health department while upholding a commitment to the highest health and food safety standards within all restaurants.”
This is just the latest case in an outbreak that has hit our area hard. Three new cases of hepatitis a were confirmed in food service workers in Kanawha and Putnam counties on Thursday as well. The Kanawha-Charleston Board of Health says more than 100 cases of hepatitis A have been reported in our region of West Virginia.
CHHD offered this advice to try and keep free from the illness:
Prevention: Thorough handwashing with soap and hot water after using the toilet and before handling food is the most important factor in preventing spread. Vaccinations are highly effective if received within 14 days of exposure.