Pizza Inn responds after ADH warns of possible Hep A at Jonesboro restaurant

Pizza Inn responds after ADH warns of possible Hep A at Jonesboro restaurant
(Source: AP Graphics Bank)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Arkansas Department of Health is urging people who ate at the Pizza Inn on Southwest Drive to get vaccinated for Hepatitis A.

The ADH reported Thursday that an employee of the restaurant, 358 Southwest Dr., tested positive for the virus.

“Anyone who ate food from this restaurant from Sept. 4 to 17 should seek vaccination immediately,” the ADH stated.

Vaccinations will be available at the Craighead County Health Unit, 611 E. Washington, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21, and Monday, Sept. 24.

The vaccine will be provided at no cost. Those with insurance should bring their cards and driver’s licenses.

Pizza Inn released the following statement about the alert:

Our utmost priority is the health and safety of our guests and team members. We were recently informed that an employee at our Jonesboro, Ark. location has tested positive for Hepatitis A. That employee is now being medically treated and the entire restaurant has been thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. In addition, all employees have been vaccinated and we have had no other reports of any illnesses linked to this location. We will continue to monitor Health Department reports and guidance.
Jami Zimmerman, Champion Management

Anyone experiencing symptoms of Hepatitis A should seek immediate treatment. Typical symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dark urine
  • Clay-colored bowel movements
  • Joint pain
  • Jaundice

Since February, 130 cases of Hep A have been reported in Northeast Arkansas, including one death. Greene County has witnessed the most cases, with others reported in Clay, Craighead, Independence, Lawrence, Lee, Mississippi, Monroe, Phillips, Poinsett, and Randolph Counties.

The ADH stresses that the risk of getting Hep A in a restaurant setting is low, stating that restaurants must follow protocols for handwashing and glove use. Employees are not allowed to return to work until they are no longer sick.

The ADH stated it was not aware of an ongoing risk of exposure at this restaurant.

For more information about hep A and updated information about the outbreak in Arkansas, please visit www.healthy.arkansas.gov.

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