Hepatitis A case confirmed in Genesee County restaurant worker

(MLive.com File Photo)

GENESEE COUNTY, MI - The Genesee County Health Department is cautioning residents that may have been exposed to hepatitis A at a local restaurant to receive treatment.

A public health advisory from the county health department notes an employee at Sweetwater Bar and Grill, 3015 E. Grand Blanc Road, has tested positive for the virus.

"Guests who consumed food or drinks from the restaurant between Tuesday, May 15th, and Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018, may have been exposed to hepatitis A," reads the advisory. "The restaurant is fully cooperating with the Health Department in this effort to provide notification to its valued patrons."   

Hepatitis A is an infection of the liver caused by a virus. The virus is shed in feces and is most commonly spread from person to person by unclean hands contaminated with feces.

The infection comes with symptoms that may include sudden abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, headache, dark urine, and/or vomiting often followed by yellowing of the skin and eyes.

Symptoms may appear from 14-50 days after exposure, with an average of about one month.

Any residents that believe they may have been exposed to hepatitis A can reduce the risk by performing the following actions:

  • Getting the vaccine (within 14 days of potential exposure)
  • Washing their hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the bathroom, changing diapers, and before preparing and eating food.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting all surfaces areas -- with particular care to areas including toilets, sinks, trash, door knobs, and faucet handles -- especially while someone in the household or workplace has symptoms.
  • Do not prepare food if you have symptoms, and refrain from food preparation for at least three days after symptoms have ended.   

Regular clinic hours for hepatitis A vaccinations at the Genesee County Health Department Burton branch, 3373 S. Saginaw St., are 8 a.m.-11 a.m. and 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, 1 p.m.-4 p.m. on Tuesdays, and Thursday evenings by appointment.

The Burton branch will be closed on Monday, May 28 in observance of Memorial Day.

For more information about hepatitis A, visit the county health department's website at www.gchd.us or call the hepatitis A telephone hotline at 810-257-3048.  

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