Kanawha-Charleston Health Department Investigates Hepatitis A Case in Nitro

NITRO, WV (WOWK) - The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department is investigating a local Hepatitis A case.

KCHD say that there is a confirmed Hepatitis A case involving a food service worker at the Cold Spot at on Cross Lanes Drive in Nitro, West Virginia.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there is an ongoing, multi-state Hepatitis A outbreak, including an outbreak in Kentucky.

KCHD says that Hepatitis A is transmitted by fecal-oral contact, either from person-to-person or consumption of contaminated food or water.

The employee did not continue working at the restaurant after they were diagnosed with Hepatitis A.

KCHD visited the restaurant and observed food-service techniques. As a precaution, members of the individual’s family and coworkers have received Hepatitis A immunizations, according to CDC protocols.

Most adults with Hepatitis A have symptoms that generally resolve within two months of infection.

Symptoms include diarrhea, fatigue, jaundice, low appetite, nausea and stomach pain.  Most children under the age of 6 who are infected have no symptoms or have an unrecognized infection.

KCHD says that the best way to prevent Hepatitis A infection is to get vaccinated. Hepatitis A vaccinations are now routine for children.

The KCHD Director of Epidemiology and Threat Preparedness, Janet Briscoe, is encouraging anyone with questions to contact their healthcare providers or KCHD.

The Director of Environmental Health Services, Stanley Mills, said KCHD sanitarians found no unsafe food handling practices indicating restaurant patrons need to be immunized because of possible exposure.

The restaurant owner has cooperated fully with the investigation.

This is the second Hepatitis A case this year investigated by KCHD.

The first case, investigated in January, was linked by the CDC to the multi-state outbreak.

Prior to these cases, it was more than two years since a confirmed case of Hepatitis A was reported in Kanawha or Putnam County.

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