FLORENCE, KY (FOX19) - A fast-food worker at a popular northern Kentucky chain has been diagnosed with hepatitis A, Northern Kentucky Health officials say.
The case was found at Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen inside the T/A Truck stop facility at 7777 Burlington Pike in Florence, officials say.
Health officials say the employee worked between March 17 and April 5 while ill or infectious.
They say it’s relatively uncommon for restaurant patrons to become infected with hepatitis A from an infected food handler, but anyone who consumed food or beverages at the restaurant should get a vaccination.
This applies to anyone who ate at the chain within two weeks of exposure as a protection measure. The health department says they still recommend the vaccine to anyone who ate at the restaurant during the time period, though it is outside the window to protect you from getting the illness.
Health officials say you should monitor your symptoms for hepatitis A for up to 50 days after exposure.
They also recommend washing your hands with soap and warm water frequently and thoroughly, especially after using the bathroom and before preparing food.
They also say to stay home and call your doctor if symptoms develop.
Health officials say Popeyes’ management is cooperating with the investigation.
The restaurant implemented what the health department calls enhanced disinfection steps to clean surfaces that may have been contaminated.
Employees who worked with the infected coworkers were told to get vaccinated because they have a greater risk of exposure.
The health department says hepatitis A is a virus that usually spreads through food, objects, or drinks contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from an infected person.
It’s an infection of the liver that can cause loss of appetite, nausea, tiredness, fever, stomach pain, brown colored urine, light colored stools and diarrhea. Yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice) may also appear, officials say.
It could take up to 7 weeks after being exposed to the virus for someone to become ill. Children often do not exhibit symptoms.
They say new cases have been trending downward over the past few months. However, Kentucky is still experiencing an outbreak.
Northern Kentucky has experienced 299 cases of hepatitis A in the outbreak thus far while Kentucky has experienced 4,381 cases, health officials say.