The Ashland-Boyd County Health Department said another food handler was diagnosed with Hepatitis A in Ashland, Kentucky.
The employee was diagnosed on Tuesday, May 15, 2018, and handled food at RJ Kahuna’s on US Route 60 in Ashland, KY.
The ABCHD said the risk of restaurant patrons becoming infected is very low.
RJ Kahuna’s is working with the health department to prevent any new cases from arising in the community as a result of this case.
All employees will be required to receive the Hepatitis A vaccine prior to returning to work.
RJ Kahuna’s will voluntarily remain closed to allow for all vaccinated employees to develop vaccine immunity.
The Kentucky Department of Public Health is recommending vaccinations for everyone residing Jefferson, Bullitt, Hardin, Greenup, Carter, and Boyd counties due to the ongoing outbreak of Hepatitis A.
Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver that can cause loss of appetite, nausea, tiredness, fever, stomach pain, brown-colored urine, and light-colored stools. Yellowing of the skin or eyes may also appear. People may have some or none of these symptoms. It could take up to 50 days after being exposed to the virus for someone to become ill but most people experience symptoms within 28 to 30 days after being exposed.
Hepatitis A usually spreads when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food, or drinks contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from an infected person. The virus spreads when an infected person does not wash his/her hands adequately after using the toilet or engages in behaviors that increase risk of infection.
Careful hand washing, including under the fingernails, with soap and water, and vaccination of anyone at risk of infection, will prevent the spread of this disease. The Ashland-Boyd County Health Department recommends all residents seek hepatitis A vaccination from their provider.
CDC recommends hepatitis A vaccination for the following groups:
- All children at age 1 year
- Travelers to countries that have high rates of hepatitis A
- Family members and caregivers of recent adoptees from countries where hepatitis A is common
- Men who have sexual contact with other men
- People who use injection and non-injection illegal drugs
- People with chronic (lifelong) liver diseases, such as hepatitis B or hepatitis C
- People who are treated with clotting-factor concentrates
- People who work with hepatitis A infected animals or in a hepatitis A research laboratory.
For additional information on the larger outbreak occurring in Kentucky, you can visit http://chfs.ky.gov/dph/hepatitis.htm