The Cumberland County Health Department announced today that a worker at the Fayetteville Olive Garden worked while infected by hepatitis A virus on July 25, 26, 28, 29, 31 and August 1, 2, and 8.  The health department is encouraging anybody who ate at the restaurant on one or more of those dates to get an immune globulin vaccination immediately.  Unfortunately, patrons of the restaurant prior to July 25 may have been exposed, but are not eligible to receive the immune globulin prophylaxis because too much time has passed for it to have any effect.

People infected by hepatitis A can prevent symptoms if they are vaccinated, or receive injections of immune globulin, within 14 days of exposure. Immune globulin, which is made from the plasma of donor blood, contains antibodies that act as a prophylactic against the onset of illness.  Cumberland County has set up a walk in clinic, which began today, at 1235 Ramsey Street, that will continue daily from 8 AM to 5 PM.

Hepatitis-A (HAV) is one of five human hepatitis viruses that primarily infect the liver and cause illness. Symptoms generally begin approximately 28 days after contracting HAV, but can begin as early as 15 days or as late as 50 days after exposure. The symptoms include headache, muscle aches, loss of appetite, abdominal discomfort, fever, and malaise. After a few days, jaundice sets in. Jaundice is a yellowing of the skin, eyes and mucous membranes that occurs because bile flows poorly through the liver and backs up into the blood. The urine may also turn dark with bile and the stool light or clay-colored from lack of bile.