The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department confirms more than 80 cases of Hepatitis A in Kanawha and Putnam counties.
As the number of Hepatitis A cases grown, health officials say the best thing to do is get vaccinated.
“If you think that you’ve been to a facility that had somebody that had a documented case, it still doesn’t hurt to get the vaccine,” Dr. Drew Massey of Fruth Pharmacy told 13 News.
Fruth and most other pharmacies should have the vaccines on hand.
“Go ahead and get the vaccine and go ahead and take care of yourself. All of the restaurants and everyone we have dealt with in food service are trying to be proactive to try and get ahead of it,” Dr. Massey explained.
Fruth has already given out 2,000 Hep A vaccines as businesses and restaurants are trying to get ahead of the infection.
Besides the shot, everyone should be washing their hands frequently and disinfecting surfaces.
“When I started this job a long long time ago, I didn’t think I would be teaching people how to wash their hands, but that’s what you do- after going to the bathroom, after touching anything that maybe dirty,” Stanley Mills told 13 News.
Mill is the Director of Environmental Health Services. He’s overseeing the three reported cases of Hep A at local restaurants. He says in all three cases, the employee simply came to work sick. The restaurant was not cited for any health violations.
“This person had really hygenic practices, it was her lifestyle or the lifestyle that created the issue with the hepatitis A, not the food handling,” Mills added.
All employees at the three locations have been vaccinated and it should be safe to eat there.
You might not see symptoms of Hepatitis right away, but if you feel nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, fever, itching or jaundice- be sure to call your doctor right away.
Health officials tell us there may be more reported cases of Hep A before they get ahold of the outbreak.