MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Alabama Department of Public Health is investigating a confirmed case of hepatitis A at a local restaurant.
The virus was identified in a food handler at a Panera Bread location at 2998 Carter Hill Road, Montgomery, Alabama.
Some customers may need the hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin to reduce their chance of illness.
Hepatitis A is a viral infection that can be transmitted person-to-person and by eating food or drinks prepared by an infected person. Hepatitis A vaccine can prevent infection, but only if given within 14 days of exposure to hepatitis A. The hepatitis A vaccine can be given to persons over 12 months of age who have not completed the two-dose hepatitis A vaccination series. Persons over 40 years old may also receive immune globulin.
“Adults with hepatitis A may have symptoms that include fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea, and jaundice. These symptoms usually resolve within two months of infection,” said ADPH Medical Officer for Disease Control and Prevention Dr. Burnestine Taylor. “Children less than 6 years of age generally do not have symptoms or have an unrecognized infection. Almost all people who get hepatitis A recover completely.”
If you have eaten food prepared at Panera Bread, located at 2998 Carter Hill Road, in Montgomery, Alabama, between the Jan. 26 and Feb. 5, contact your health care provider, pharmacy, or the Montgomery County Health Department regarding getting the vaccine as soon as possible. You may also contact your local provider if you are uncertain about your past vaccine status.
The ADPH said it is rare for hepatitis A to cause severe illness, but persons 50 years of age or older and those with other liver diseases are more at risk.