ADPH: Hepatitis A identified at Montgomery Applebee’s

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 5:48 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Alabama Department of Public Health says a food handler at one of Montgomery’s Applebee’s restaurants has been infected with hepatitis A.

As a preventative measure, ADPH is asking customers who ate at the Taylor Road location between July 8-16 to contact a health care provider, pharmacy or the Montgomery County Health Department about getting a hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin.

The health department describes hepatitis A as a “viral infection that can be transmitted person-to-person and by eating food or drinks prepared by an infected person.”

Health officials say a vaccine can prevent infection if administered within 14 days of exposure. The vaccine can be given to those over 12 months old who have not completed the two-dose hepatitis A vaccination series. Those over 40 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 Burnestine Taylor, medical officer for disease control and prevention at ADPH. “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.”

The health department states that it is rare for hepatitis A to cause severe illness, but people over 50 or with other liver diseases are more at risk.

Officials say the best way to prevent getting hepatitis A is to receive the vaccine within two weeks of exposure, and that two doses are required to be considered as protection.

After the infected employee was confirmed, the Taylor Road Applebee’s closed for a day of cleaning and has since reopened. ADPH reports that the restaurant had “no violations during a recent environmental inspection and continues to be highly responsive and cooperative to help rectify this situation.”

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