The Georgia Department of Public Health Northwest Health District officials have confirmed a case of hepatitis A in a food handler at McDonald’s, 106 LaFayette Road, Chickamauga, GA. An investigation found that this employee worked at the restaurant while infectious, from March 4 through March 17. While it is relatively rare for restaurant patrons to become infected with hepatitis A virus due to an infected food handler, “there might be some risk to the public,” says District Health Director Dr. Unini Odama, “and therefore we are doing everything necessary to protect the public and anyone that might have been inadvertently exposed to the hepatitis A virus.”
We recommend that anyone who consumed food or drink at this restaurant during this time contact their healthcare provider or local health department to determine if a hepatitis A vaccination is needed to prevent the disease. The hepatitis A vaccine is safe, effective, and well tolerated. It is the best protection against the hepatitis A virus. Additional protective measures, such as immune globulin injections, may be recommended for certain people.
Free hepatitis A vaccination will be provided at the Catoosa and Walker County Health Departments on Thursday, March 28, 8 am-6:30 pm; Friday, March 29, 8 am-2 pm; and Saturday, March 30 from 8 am to 12 noon.
• Catoosa County Health Department, 145 Catoosa Circle, Ringgold, GA 706-406-2000
• Walker County Health Department, 603 E. Villanow Street, LaFayette, GA 30728 706-638-5577
Anyone who consumed food and/or drink at the restaurant during this time should also:
1. Monitor their health for symptoms of hepatitis A infection up to fifty 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 your 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, dark-colored urine and light-colored stools. Yellowing of the skin or eyes may also appear. People can become ill up to fifty days after being exposed to the virus.
Hepatitis A is acquired when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food, or drinks contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from an infected person. The virus spreads when an infected person does not wash his/her hands adequately after using the toilet or engages in behaviors that increase risk of infection. Careful hand washing, including under the fingernails, with soap and water, along with vaccination of anyone at risk of infection, will prevent spread of this disease.
Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Hepatitis A outbreaks. The Hepatitis A lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Hepatitis A and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $650 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation. Our Hepatitis A lawyers have litigated Hepatitis A cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of sources, such as green onions, lettuce and restaurant food. The law firm has brought Hepatitis A lawsuits against such companies as Costco, Subway, McDonald’s, Red Robin, Chipotle, Quiznos and Carl’s Jr. We proudly represented the family of Donald Rockwell, who died after consuming hepatitis A tainted food and Richard Miller, who required a liver transplant after eating food at a Chi-Chi’s restaurant.
If you or a family member became ill with a Hepatitis A infection after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Hepatitis A attorneys for a free case evaluation.