A second Monroe Co. restaurant employee diagnosed with Hepatitis A

MONROE, Mi (WTVG) - The Monroe County Health Department has confirmed a second case of Hepatitis A in a local restaurant worker.

Health officials say the person works at Tim Hortons on Monroe street in the city. And anyone who consumed food and/or drink from the restaurant between December 10, 2017 and December 28, 2017 may have been exposed.

The health department says it is providing information to alert residents and guests to the possible exposure. If you think you have been exposed they recommend a Hepatitis A vaccination or what's called Immune Globulin treatment.

As for the restaurant, the health department is working to vaccinate all employees, determine if there are any additional cases and to eliminate any additional risk of exposure.

People with concerns about exposure are being urged to contact the health department or healthcare provided to be assessed for vaccination or IG treatment.

Here is additional information about Hepatitis A from the Monroe County Health Department:

Hepatitis A is caused by the Hepatitis A virus, and it can cause damage to the liver and cause other health problems.

Anyone who has consumed food and/or drink at Tim Hortons from December 10th to December 28th, should monitor for symptoms of Hepatitis A which include fatigue, poor appetite, stomach pain or tenderness, nausea or vomiting, dark urine, and yellowing of the skin (jaundice). Most children less than 6 years of age do not experience symptoms. Symptoms typically appear 2 to 6 weeks after exposure. Individuals with symptoms should call their health care provider and seek medical care.

The most effective method to prevent Hepatitis A is to get vaccinated. The Hepatitis A vaccine is now routinely recommended for children at 1 year of age. Most adults, however, may not be vaccinated, unless they did so for travel or other risk factors.

Who should get vaccinated against Hepatitis A?
• Persons who are homeless.
• Persons who are incarcerated.
• Persons who use injection and non-injection illegal drugs.
• Persons who work with the high risk populations listed above.
• Persons who have close contact, care for, or live with someone who has Hepatitis A.
• Persons who have sexual activities with someone who has Hepatitis A.
• Men who have sex with men.
• Travelers to countries with high or medium rates of Hepatitis A.
• Persons with chronic liver disease, such as cirrhosis, Hepatitis B, or Hepatitis C.
• Persons with clotting factor disorders.
• Any person who is concerned about potential exposure and wishes to be vaccinated.

The Hepatitis A virus is most commonly spread from person-to-person by the fecal-oral route. Most infections result from contact with an infected household member or sex partners. Sometimes, infection results from food or drink that is contaminated with the virus. It is not spread through coughing or sneezing. Anyone who has Hepatitis A can spread the virus to others for 1-2 weeks prior to symptoms appearing.

Frequent hand-washing with soap and warm water after using the restroom and before handling food can help prevent the spread of Hepatitis A. Thoroughly preparing foods can also help prevent infection. Freezing food does not kill the virus.

Outbreak in Southeast Michigan From August 2016 to December 20, 2017 there have been 630 cases of Hepatitis A diagnosed in Southeast Michigan. Monroe County has 14 confirmed cases of Hepatitis A.