IHOP employee diagnosed with Hepatitis A in West Virginia

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The Cabell-Huntington Health Department has confirmed a case of Hepatitis A in a food service worker at IHOP.

The worker was employed at the IHOP on 130 Mall Road in Barboursville, WV.

CHHD says that 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 17th and May 25th, 2018 should consider getting hepatitis A vaccine injection not more than two weeks after their exposure to help prevent infection.

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

CHHD has limited vaccine available for individuals without insurance who can’t afford it.

CHHD says the purpose of this alert is preventive; no cases resulting from exposure at the restaurant have been reported

CHHD’s investigation of the restaurant revealed no breach of safe food handling protocol. The restaurant voluntarily closed for disinfectant cleaning and has reopened.

Jay Johns, IHOP Senior Vice President of 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 safeguard the health of our community.”

Hepatitis A is a viral disease of the liver. It is spread from person to person by the “fecal-oral” route, often by inadequate handwashing after using the toilet or changing diapers.

Persons suspecting that they have symptoms of hepatitis should contact their health care provider. Persons working as food handlers who experience symptoms of hepatitis should not work and should be seen by a healthcare provider.

The symptoms include nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, fatigue, fever, abdominal
cramps, dark colored urine, light or whitish-colored stools, and jaundice (a yellow color to the eyes or skin). 

THE Incubation period is two to six weeks from exposure to symptoms. Persons with questions should contact their personal health care provider or the Cabell-Huntington Health Department at (304) 523-6483.

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.

This investigation is part of a multistate outbreak of Hepatitis A.

CHHD is working closely with the WV Bureau of Public Health to address cases, contacts and immunization in high-risk populations.

Further information on Hepatitis A can be obtained at www.cabellhealth.org or https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hav/.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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