Customers who ate at Chuy’s Mesquite Broiler on the Rosedale Highway in Bakersfield, California, between January 4 and January 10 are being warned that they may have been exposed to the hepatitis A virus. The Kern County Health Department issued a press release stating that customers who ate at the restaurant between those dates should receive an inoculation to prevent against hepatitis A infection. In it, the health department provided a chart with information on the timeline for receiving preventative treatment:
KGET.com reported that the health department had run out of vaccinations, but would be able to treat all individuals who were exposed at the restaurant. According to KGET, the restaurant has been cleaned and re-inspected. The worker will not resume responsibilities at the restaurant until proven healthy.
According to the Kern County Department of Health Press Release:
On average, symptoms of hepatitis A occur within 28 days following exposure and may include fever, fatigue, body ache, nausea, abdominal discomfort, dark colored urine and pale stools. Jaundice or yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes may follow. The illness usually lasts 1-2 weeks, although in rare cases, symptoms can be severe and recovery can take several months. Many people infected with Hepatitis A may have no symptoms or may have mild symptoms without jaundice. For symptom related questions, please contact your medical provider.
Hepatitis A virus is spread by close physical contact and through fecal contamination of liquids or food that does not get cooked and is then consumed. Close contacts, including household and sexual partners, are at risk for acquiring Hepatitis A from an infected person. The incubation period is 2 to 7 weeks. Prompt diagnosis is a benefit in minimizing the spread of infection. Thorough handwashing with soap and warm water after using the toilet and before handling food is the most important factor in preventing the spread of the disease.