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Published On: Thu, May 22nd, 2014

Springfield Red Robin employee tests positive for hepatitis A, thousands at risk of exposure

The Springfield-Greene County Health Department is alerting the public about a potential local health threat and outlining plans in place for people affected.

Hepatitis A Image/CDC

Hepatitis A
Image/CDC

Health officials have been notified of an individual recently diagnosed with Hepatitis A who had been working at a Springfield area Red Robin while possibly contagious. As many as 5,000 people are at risk of exposure, according to a CNN report.

Out of an abundance of caution, the Health Department is recommending individuals who ate at the Red Robin restaurant at 3720 S. Glenstone Avenue from May 8 to May 16 to contact their healthcare provider.

For patrons who have not been vaccinated, the Health Department has set up a vaccination clinic which will take place at Remington’s at 1655 W. Republic Road.  While this clinic will be open to the public, the Health Department recommends individuals who are pregnant or have compromised immune systems visit their doctor for guidance.

Vaccinations will be provided starting May 22 at 11 am to 6 pm and will continue May 23 from 7 a.m. to noon.

Mercy will also offer vaccinations at the Smith Glynn Callaway Clinic at 3231 S. National on May 24-26 from noon to 4 p.m. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page.

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.

 

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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