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Published On: Fri, Jun 27th, 2014

Hepatitis A confirmed in Fort Collins restaurant employee, health officials warn patrons

A case of hepatitis A was confirmed in a food handler at Tortilla Marissa’s North of the Border Café at 2635 S. College Avenue in Fort Collins, CO., according to the Larimer County Health Department today. Health officials say the food handler worked while infectious with the virus.

Hepatitis A Image/CDC

Hepatitis A
Image/CDC

Health officials say that all patrons who consumed any food or beverages from Tortilla Marissa’s in the last 14 days may be able to prevent infection by obtaining a Hepatitis A vaccine or immunoglobulin. To be effective the shot must be given within 14 days of exposure. Consumers are advised to contact their health care provider to be assessed for possible prophylactic vaccine administration. If you do not have a health care provider you can contact your local health department.

Free Hepatitis A shot clinics for patrons of the restaurant in the last 14 days will be held Sunday and Monday at the Health Department, 1525 Blue Spruce, Fort Collins.

People who have not been vaccinated against Hepatitis A and who may have consumed the product outside of that 14 day window are advised to watch for signs and symptoms of Hepatitis A and seek medical care if symptoms occur. People experiencing symptoms should not prepare food or provide health care for other people to prevent additional transmission of the virus.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that results from infection with the Hepatitis A virus. It can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months.

Hepatitis A is usually spread when a person ingests fecal matter, even in microscopic amounts, from contact with objects, food, or drinks contaminated by feces or stool from an infected person.

Not everyone has symptoms. If symptoms develop, they usually appear 2 to 6 weeks after becoming infected and can include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine and jaundice.

There is no specific treatment once symptoms appear, but a vaccination can help lessen the effects of the disease if given within 14 days of exposure.

The best way to control the spread of hepatitis A and many other illnesses is through proper hand washing, especially after using the restroom, changing diapers, and before eating or preparing food. Hand washing should include 20 seconds of vigorous soaping of all parts of the hands, especially between fingers and under fingernails. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page

About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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