Lexington KY Restaurants Report Hepatitis A Infected Staff

Kentucky Hepatitis A outbreaks are concentrated in Louisville and Lexington

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The Clark County Kentucky Health Department (CCHD) said it was investigating a food service worker at the Applebee’s, located at 1525 W. Lexington Ave. in Winchester, KY, involving a diagnosis of Hepatitis A virus on November 30, 2018.   

Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable, communicable disease of the liver caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). 

HAV is usually transmitted person-to-person through the fecal-oral route or consumption of contaminated food or water. 

The CCHD said in a press release that ‘Customers who ate at the restaurant between November 14-25, 2018 are advised to get a hepatitis A vaccination'. 

The Applebee’s restaurant owners and employees have fully cooperated with local health officials, according to the CCHD. 

According to reporting by Morgan Eads with Kentucky.com, ‘the person who was infected did not work while showing symptoms and has not been back to work since being diagnosed,’ said Mike Muldoon, president of RMH Franchise Holdings.   

RMH Franchise Holdings owns the Winchester restaurant, Applebee’s at 1761 Sharkey Way in Lexington and several other Applebee’s restaurants in the area, including locations in Nicholasville and Georgetown. 

This hepatitis A announcement is just the latest unfortunate news in the Lexington, Kentucky area. 

Kentucky.com also reported the Fayette County Health Department said an employee at Waffle House on Carol Road was diagnosed with the disease, in addition to 2 other restaurants, Hardee’s at 2990 Richmond Road, and a Waffle House at 2347 Buena Vista Road. 

The cleanliness of restaurants has taken on fresh importance since the hepatitis A outbreak began. In response, the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department is monitoring more than 100 restaurants that it has placed on probation for violation of public-health standards. 

Previously, on September 12th, health officials in Kentucky’s second-largest city are recommending all residents get vaccinated.  

Recommended:

This announcement came 2 months after health officials in Louisville made the same vaccination recommendation. 

As of November 24th, the State of Kentucky has reported:

  • Total Outbreak: 2,865
  • Hospitalizations: 1,476
  • Deaths: 18

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious disease that attacks the liver. Hepatitis A is a self-limited disease that does not result in a chronic infection. 

People infected with hepatitis A are most contagious from 2 weeks before onset of symptoms to 1 week afterward, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).   

Symptoms usually start within 28 days of exposure to the virus with a range of 15-50 days. Not everyone who is infected will have all the symptoms.

While it is relatively uncommon for restaurant customers to become infected with the hepatitis A virus due to an infected food handler, anyone who consumed food or drinks during the stated time period is advised to get a hepatitis A vaccination, says the CDC.   

To request a hepatitis vaccination appointment at a local pharmacy, please visit this page. 

The CDC Vaccine Price List displays current HAV vaccine contract prices and general information.

And, vaccine discounts can be found here.

Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of vaccines to the FDA or CDC.