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Second Hepatitis A Positive Tim Horton’s Employee Prompts Another Vaccine Call

Monroe County Health Department (MCHD) has confirmed a second case of Hepatitis A in an individual who works at a local restaurant. MCHD is providing information to alert residents and guests to the possible exposure and to recommend prompt Hepatitis A vaccination or Immune Globulin (IG) treatment to potentially exposed individuals.

The diagnosed individual works at Tim Hortons Restaurant located at 404 S. Monroe Street in Monroe. Anyone who consumed food and/or drink from the restaurant between December 10, 2017 and December 28, 2017 may have been exposed.

MCHD is working with the restaurant to vaccinate all employees, determine if there are any additional cases and to eliminate any additional risk of exposure. Concerned individuals are urged to contact MCHD or their health care provider with questions.

Anyone who has consumed food and/or drink at Tim Hortons from December 10th to December 28th, should monitor for symptoms of Hepatitis A which include fatigue, poor appetite, stomach pain or tenderness, nausea or vomiting, dark urine, and yellowing of the skin (jaundice). Most children less than 6 years of age do not experience symptoms. Symptoms typically appear 2 to 6 weeks after exposure. Individuals with symptoms should call their health care provider and seek medical care.

Earlier, The Department is extended their free Hepatitis A walk-in clinic, through the week of December 18 through the 22 where at least 1,800 people were vaccinated after the first employee with hepatitis A was announced. The clinic was for anyone who consumed food and/or drink between November 21 and December 8 from the same Tim Horton’s location.

Hepatitis A vaccine or Immune Globulin (IG) treatment may provide protection against the disease if given within two weeks of exposure. Anyone potentially exposed to Hepatitis A should contact their healthcare provider to be assessed for vaccination or IG treatment. Hepatitis A vaccine is available from health care providers, pharmacies and at MCHD. People who have had Hepatitis A disease or have previously received two doses of the hepatitis A vaccine do not need to be vaccinated.

Hepatitis A is caused by the Hepatitis A virus, and it can cause damage to the liver and cause other health problems.

The most effective method to prevent Hepatitis A is to get vaccinated. The Hepatitis A vaccine is now routinely recommended for children at 1 year of age. Most adults, however, may not be vaccinated, unless they did so for travel or other risk factors.

The Hepatitis A virus is most commonly spread from person-to-person by the fecal-oral route. Most infections result from contact with an infected household member or sex partners. Sometimes, infection results from food or drink that is contaminated with the virus. It is not spread through coughing or sneezing. Anyone who has Hepatitis A can spread the virus to others for 1-2 weeks prior to symptoms appearing.

Frequent hand-washing with soap and warm water after using the restroom and before handling food can help prevent the spread of Hepatitis A. Thoroughly preparing foods can also help prevent infection. Freezing food does not kill the virus.

Outbreak in Southeast Michigan From August 2016 to December 20, 2017 there have been 630 cases of Hepatitis A diagnosed in Southeast Michigan. Monroe County has 14 confirmed cases of Hepatitis A. Learn more about the Southeast Michigan outbreak at www.mi.gov/hepatitisaoutbreak.

For more information regarding the free Hepatitis A vaccine clinics, please call the Monroe County Health Department at 734-240-7800, Bridget Huss at 734-240-7831 or Chris Westover at 734-240-7921 or visit http://www.co.monroe.mi.us/publichealth.

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