New hep A cases in Cabell, Kanawha counties
HUNTINGTON — Five new cases of hepatitis A have been identified in Kanawha County and one in Cabell County, according to news releases from the area health departments.
The Cracker Barrel at 3 Cracker Barrel Drive in Barboursville has one confirmed food service worker with hepatitis A.
Restaurant patrons have a very low risk of contracting hepatitis A from restaurant prepared food; however, patrons wishing to further reduce risk may consider immunization from their medical provider or pharmacy if they consumed food at the restaurant between June 13 and June 22.
A Cabell-Huntington Health Department investigation of the restaurant has revealed no breach of safe food-handling protocol. The restaurant voluntarily closed for disinfectant cleaning.
In Kanawha County, the McDonald’s at 64 Patrick St. in Charleston, Pizza Hut at 603 3rd St. in St. Albans, Paul’s Polar Park Drive Inn at 9850 Teays Valley Road in Scott Depot, Sakura at 230 Nitro Place in Cross Lanes and Sam’s Club at 2500 Mountaineer Boulevard in South Charleston each have one confirmed case of a worker with hepatitis A.
The infectious periods for the facilities are May 27 to June 17 at McDonald’s, May 28 to June 18 at Pizza Hut, May 21 to June 19 at Paul’s Polar Park Drive Inn, June 7-28 at Sakura and May 12 to June 2 at Sam’s Club. The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department recommends patrons who consumed
food or drinks at any of the facilities monitor for hepatitis A symptoms.
It can take up to 50 days after exposure to the virus for someone to become ill, but most people experience symptoms within 28 to 30 days after being exposed. There is a two-week window for those who might have been exposed to receive the hepatitis A vaccine. After the 14-day window has closed, the vaccine might not be effective.
Per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention protocols, family members and co-workers of the infected are receiving vaccinations. KCHD is conducting inspections to review food-handling practices at each facility. No unsafe food-handling practices have been observed.
According to KCHD, public transmission by a food service worker is uncommon and no hepatitis A has been transmitted to restaurant patrons in Kanawha and Putnam counties. Cabell-Huntington Health Department also has confirmed zero cases of hepatitis A being contracted by a restaurant patron.
West Virginia has been identified in a multistate hepatitis A outbreak that includes Kentucky, Michigan, Indiana and, as of Friday, Ohio.