Officials warn of Hepatitis A exposure in northeast Arkansas

Desiree Burns
August 11, 2018

A case of hepatitis A confirmed at a Northwest Arkansas restaurant is not believed to be part of a current outbreak in the state's northeast, the Health Department said.

The Arkansas Department of Health said Tuesday that anyone who visited the Little Caesar's in Paragould between July 19 and August 2 should seek vaccination and are encouraging all Greene County residents ages 19 to 60 get vaccinated.

The Arkansas Department of Health is issuing a warning after a fast food worker tested positive for Hepatitis A.

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Arkansas health officials have set up two vaccination clinics for the public after a Red Lobster employee tested positive. People getting the vaccing should bring their insurance cards and driver's licenses if they have them and enter from the west side of the park near the Parrot Island entrance, according to the news release.

Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease with symptoms such as fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, clay-colored bowel movements, joint pain or jaundice. Anyone experiencing symptoms should seek help immediately. Illness can last for months, though permanent damage is rare. They also said that disposable gloves are used between customers and while preparing food as a matter of policy, which likely reduced the risk of illness to the public.

To reduce your risk of spreading or catching Hep A, always wash your hands thoroughly after using the restroom. If infected, most people will develop symptoms within three to four weeks of exposure. Other risk factors for having more severe symptoms of hep A include having other infections or chronic diseases like hep B or C, HIV/AIDS or diabetes.

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