The Arkansas Department of Health is warning of a possible hep A exposure after an employee of Subway in Trumann tested positive for the virus.
Anyone who ate at the Subwayat 121 Highway 463 North at Trumann from Jan. 23 through Feb. 6, should get a vaccination immediately if they have never been vaccinated against hep A or are unsure of their vaccination status, according to a news release.
There are no specific treatments once a person gets hep A. Illness can be prevented even after exposure by getting the vaccine or medicine called immune globulin, which contains antibodies to hep A. These work best to prevent illness if given within two weeks of exposure to the virus. Hep A vaccination can still prevent the virus after exposure, according to the release.
The ADH will host vaccine clinics from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 12-13 at the Poinsett County Health Unit, 1204 W. Main St., at Trumann. The vaccine will be provided to the public free. People should bring their insurance card and driver’s license if they have one.
Those who are unable to attend these clinics may be able to visit a local health unit in their county and should call ahead to ensure vaccine is available. The local health units are available at https://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/health-units.
Anyone experiencing symptoms should seek care immediately. Typical symptoms of hep A include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, clay-colored bowel movements, joint pain, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes). It can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months.
The risk of getting hep A in a food service setting is low. Restaurants must follow ADH protocols for handwashing and glove use and employees are not to return to work until they are no longer sick. Hep A is being spread in this outbreak primarily through close contacts in the community, not through eating at restaurants, according to the release.
The hep A vaccine is safe and effective. Hep A is a contagious liver disease that results from infection with the hep A virus, which is a different virus from the viruses that cause hep B or hep C. It is usually spread when a person ingests tiny amounts of fecal matter from contact with objects, food or drinks contaminated by the feces (stool) of an infected person, according to the release.
Details: www.healthy.arkansas.gov .