RJ Kahuna's employee diagnosed with Hep A

Maricruz Casares
May 17, 2018

According to Briscoe, BPH is providing free Hepatitis A vaccine for outbreak counties, but local health departments can only use this vaccine for high-risk groups that include the homeless, drug users, and close personal contacts of people diagnosed with Hepatitis A.

A Kanawha-Charleston Health Department news release says an O'Charley's employee was diagnosed with hepatitis A. The health department says this is the third Kanawha County hepatitis A investigation involving a restaurant since a number of cases began to arise in February.

Officials at the health department say they have investigated and the risk of customers becoming infected is "very low". As a precaution, members of the individual's family and co-workers have received Hepatitis A immunizations, according to CDC protocols.

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R.J. Kahuna's is working with the health department and will remain voluntarily closed to allow for all vaccinated employees to develop immunity, as all employees will be required to receive the vaccine. These include abdominal pain, dark urine, fatigue, fever, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), light-colored stools, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting. Health officials say people can have some or none of these symptoms and it can take up to 50 days after exposure for someone to become ill.

The Kentucky Department for Public Health is recommending that anyone who lives in Boyd, Carter, Greenup, Hardin, Bullitt, and Jefferson counties get the vaccine.

"Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable illness", stated Dr. Jeffrey Howard, acting DPH commissioner. "In these counties with local transmission of the hepatitis A virus, we recommend everyone be vaccinated per guidelines to help stop this outbreak".

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