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Published On: Fri, Aug 2nd, 2013

Utah: Ancestor Square Pizza Factory employee tests positive for hepatitis A, health officials advise customers

A food handler at a Washington County, Utah restaurant has tested positive for hepatitis A and local health officials are trying to locate patrons of the restaurant that may have been exposed.

Pizza cooking Image/Video Screen Shot

Pizza cooking Image/Video Screen Shot

The Southwest Utah Public Health Department (SWUPHD) received confirmation of an employee at the Ancestor Square Pizza Factory as testing positive for the vital disease and are looking for customers of the restaurant who may have eaten their recently.

More specifically, people who ate at this location during the days and  times below may have been exposed to Hepatitis A and should contact the SWUPHD (see bottom of story) or their healthcare provider for preventive treatment, which could include vaccination and/or immune globulin, depending on age:

 

  • July 19 (Fri.):   6-9:30 p.m.
  • July 20 (Sat.):  6-9:30 p.m.
  • July 23 (Tue.): 5-9:00 p.m.
  • July 26 (Fri.):   6-9:30 p.m.
  • July 27 (Sat.):  5-9:30 p.m.

People who ate at the restaurant at other times do not need preventive treatment. Also, anyone previously vaccinated for Hepatitis A is protected from infection. Pregnant women can be vaccinated after consultation with their doctor.

Health officials say no other Pizza Factory restaurants are affected by this Hepatitis A exposure and there are no other confirmed Hepatitis A cases related to the Ancestor Square Pizza Factory, which remains open for business. This location has a record of very good restaurant inspection scores in the past and management is cooperating fully with the investigation.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hepatitis A is a contagious liver diseasethat 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.

Hepatitis A also can be spread through contaminated food or water. This most often occurs in countries where Hepatitis A is common, especially if personal hygiene or sanitary conditions are poor. Contamination of food can happen at any point: growing, harvesting, processing, handling, and even after cooking.

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.

Call the SWUPHD at (435) 673-3528 or come in person to 620 S. 400 E. (level 3). The immunization clinic is open at the following times on a walk-in basis:

Monday, Wednesday, & Thursday:
7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday:
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. 
Every other Friday (starting August 2):
8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
PLEASE BRING YOUR IMMUNIZATION RECORDS, PICTURE I.D., AND INSURANCE CARD. The SWUPHD offers the Hepatitis A vaccine for $48 if not covered by your insurance

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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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