Health officials warn of hepatitis A in western Arkansas

August 8, 2018 GMT

FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — A day after warning Paragould residents in northeast Arkansas about a possible hepatitis A exposure, Arkansas health officials are warning residents of a western Arkansas city after a restaurant employee there tested positive for the virus.

The Department of Health said Wednesday that anyone who ate at Red Lobster in Fort Smith between July 19 and Aug. 4 should immediately get vaccinated. Officials say they are planning vaccination clinics in Sebastian County, though they have not yet released the dates.

Hepatitis A is a contagious and potentially fatal, but treatable, liver disease which can cause illness two to seven weeks after exposure. Symptoms include fever, nausea, and jaundice.

Officials say the case is unrelated to outbreaks in northeast Arkansas, which has sickened at least 80 people and caused one death.