Hep A outbreak grows; tips on how you can stay healthy

Hep A outbreak grows; tips on how you can stay healthy
(Source: AP Graphics Bank)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Arkansas Department of Health says a Jonesboro restaurant worker who tested positive for Hepatitis A was infectious on more days than originally reported.

The health department said Friday the infected worker was without symptoms but infectious while working on May 23, 27, and 28, as well as June 3.

"Anyone who ate at this location on those days should be aware of the symptoms of Hep A and visit their doctor or health care provider, and let their provider know they have potentially been exposed to Hep A if they experience symptoms," the health department stated in a news release.

Typical symptoms of Hep A include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, clay-colored bowel movements, joint pain, or jaundice.

Since February, 36 cases of Hep A have been reported as part of an outbreak in Northeast Arkansas, with a majority of cases in Clay and Greene Counties, according to the ADH. Cases have also been reported in Lawrence, Randolph, and Craighead.

"Because this is an ongoing outbreak, we will continue to update the public with information that helps them make decisions about their health," said Dr. Gary Wheeler, ADH chief medical officer. "Anyone in the affected counties should be aware of the heightened risk of Hep A in their community and get vaccinated if necessary."

Should you get vaccinated for Hepatitis A? Can it be prevented? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer these fact sheets to answer all your questions:

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