June 20, 2019

Hepatitis A in Union, Missouri food handler Mass vaccination clinics planned

JEFFERSON CITY, MO -- Hepatitis A was diagnosed in an employee who handled food at Jack in the Box located at 101 Bourbeuse River Access in Union, Missouri. The investigation by the Franklin County Health Department found that this employee worked while infectious on the following dates:

  • May 26-May 27
  • June 2-June 3
  • June 9-June 10

While it is uncommon for restaurant patrons to become infected with hepatitis A virus due to an infected food handler, anyone who consumed food or drink at Jack in the Box on June 9 or June 10, 2019, is recommended to receive vaccination by June 23 as further protection from becoming ill. Jack in the Box is working with Franklin County Health Department to prevent any new illnesses from arising in the community because of this case.

Vaccinations are being administered at no cost at 414 East Main Street in Union, Missouri, on the following dates and times:

  • Friday, June 21, 2019; 8 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 22, 2019; 8 a.m.-1 p.m.

Anyone who consumed food or drink at Jack in the Box between May 26 and June 10 is also asked to:

  1. Monitor their health for symptoms of hepatitis A infection up to 50 days after exposure.
  2. Wash their hands with soap and warm water frequently and thoroughly, especially after using the bathroom and before preparing food.
  3. Stay at home and contact their healthcare provider immediately if symptoms of hepatitis A infection develop.

Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver that can cause loss of appetite, nausea, tiredness, fever, stomach pain, brown colored urine, and light colored stools. Yellowing of the skin or eyes might also occur. People can become ill up to 7 weeks after being exposed to the virus. If you think you have symptoms of hepatitis A, you should contact your healthcare provider.

Hepatitis A usually spreads when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food, or drinks contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool (poop) from an infected person. Careful hand washing with soap and water, including under the fingernails, after using the bathroom or changing diapers and before preparing or eating food will help prevent the spread of this disease.

For further information about hepatitis A, follow this link:  https://health.mo.gov/living/healthcondiseases/communicable/hepatitisa/index.php

About the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services: The department seeks to be the leader in protecting health and keeping people safe. More information about DHSS can be found at http://health.mo.gov or find us on Facebook and Twitter @HealthyLivingMo.