Mississippi restaurant worker may have exposed patrons to hepatitis A virus

Published 6:25 pm Wednesday, July 24, 2019

The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) is investigating a case of hepatitis A in a food service worker that could have led to possible exposure for restaurant customers.

An employee of Los Encinos Mexican Grill (132 W. Main Street) in Calhoun City, MS has been diagnosed with hepatitis A virus, and patrons who ate at the restaurant from July 5 to July 23 might have been exposed.

“The risk of transmission is likely low, but anyone who dined at the restaurant during that time period should consider getting a hepatitis A vaccination from their healthcare provider, pharmacy or any county health department, if they have not been previously immunized” said MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers.

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Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that can be spread when the virus enters the mouth after someone touches an object, food or drink that is contaminated by the feces of an infected person. Symptoms of infection include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, jaundice and abdominal pain. Anyone who has symptoms consistent with hepatitis A should consult their healthcare provider.

“It’s important to always wash your hands thoroughly after using the bathroom,” said Dr. Byers. “Additionally, the best way to prevent infection is by getting the vaccine. It’s safe and effective.”

For more information about hepatitis A, please see https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hav/.