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Public Health Advisory

June 15, 2018

 

Reporting  Greenup County Health Department has investigated a case of hepatitis A diagnosed on June 14, 2018 in an employee who handled food at Wendy’s of Greenup located at 1522 Seaton Ave., Greenup, KY.  The investigation found that the risk of restaurant patrons becoming infected is very low.  Wendy’s of Greenup is working with the health department to prevent any new cases from arising in the community as a result of this case.  All employees will be required to receive the Hepatitis A vaccine prior to returning to work.
Chris Crum, Director of Greenup County Health Department said, “We are pleased to see a proactive approach to a serious health matter.  Prevention is the key.  As we partner with Wendy’s of Greenup, this will ensure more comprehensive food safety practices in the future.”

As per recommendation of the Kentucky Department of Public Health:

FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 16, 2018)  -Due to an ongoing outbreak of Hepatitis A, the Department for Public Health (DPH) within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), is recommending vaccination for everyone residing Jefferson, Bullitt, Hardin, Greenup, Carter and Boyd counties. ‘Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable illness.  DPH recommends all children, ages 1 year through 18, receive the Hepatitis A vaccine as well as adults who want to protect themselves from an acute hepatitis A infection,’ said 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.”

Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver that can cause loss of appetite, nausea, tiredness, fever, stomach pain, brown colored urine, and light-colored stools.  Yellowing of the skin or eyes may also appear.  People may have some or none of these symptoms.  It could take up to 50 days after being exposed to the virus for someone to become ill but most people experience symptoms within 28-30 days after being exposed.
Hepatitis A usually spreads when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food, or drinks contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from an infected person.  The virus spreads when an infected person does not wash his/her hands adequately after using the toilet or engages in behaviors that increase the risk of infection.

Careful hand washing, including under the fingernails, with soap and water, and vaccination of anyone at risk of infection, will prevent the spread of this disease.  The Greenup County Health Department recommends all residents seek hepatitis A vaccination from their provider.

CDC recommends hepatitis A vaccination for the following groups:

    • All children at age 1 year
    • Travelers to countries that have high rates of hepatitis A
    • Family members and caregivers of recent adoptees from countries where hepatitis A is common
    • Men who have sexual contact with other men
    • People who use injection and non-injection illegal drugs
    • People with chromic (lifelong) liver diseases, such as hepatitis B or hepatitis C
    • People who are treated with clotting-factor concentrates
    • People who work with hepatitis A infected animals or in a hepatitis A research laboratory. 

For additional information on the larger outbreak occurring in Kentucky, please click here.


Statement from Wendy’s
Alisha Meade, Operator, Greenup Wendy’s said, “Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our employees and customers, and the high-quality restaurant experience that we provide. We have stringent procedures in place to ensure a safe, sanitary and well-maintained restaurant.


We take matters like this very seriously, and upon learning that one of our crew members became ill, we took immediate action. Out of an abundance of caution, we voluntarily closed the restaurant to conduct a thorough cleaning and disinfecting in accordance with health department protocols. We are also ensuring that resources and vaccines are available to our employees through the health department. We thank the Greenup County Health Department for their partnership on this matter. At this time, no additional illnesses have been reported and the restaurant is fully operational.”

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©Greenup County Health Department. Page last updated Monday, June 18, 2018