Ooltewah restaurant employee diagnosed with acute hepatitis A

0
Hamilton County

HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) — The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department confirms an employee at an Ooltewah restaurant  was diagnosed with acute hepatitis A.

Officials with the health department say the employee worked at Western Sizzlin Restaurant while contagious from March 10 through March 20.

- Advertisement -

Health experts recommend people who ate at this restaurant during these dates should get vaccinated with the hepatitis A vaccine as soon as possible.

They say the hepatitis A vaccine is safe, effective, and well tolerated. According to health professionals, it is the best protection against the hepatitis A virus. Additional protective measures, such as immune globulin injections, may be recommended for certain people.

The health department will offer free hepatitis A vaccine at the following special clinics:



Sunday, March 24, 1PM – 6PM: Health Department (Main Campus), 921 E. 3rd Street, Chattanooga, TN 37403

Monday, March 25, 8AM – 6PM: Ooltewah Health Center, 5520 High Street, Ooltewah, TN 37363

Health Department (Main Campus), 921 E. 3rd Street, Chattanooga, TN 37403

Tuesday, March 26, 8AM – 6PM: Ooltewah Health Center, 5520 High Street, Ooltewah, TN 37363

Health Department (Main Campus), 921 E. 3rd Street, Chattanooga, TN 37403

For people who cannot make it to these special clinics, they may come into any Health Department health center during regular hours any day next week.

According to officials, symptoms of hepatitis A are fatigue, decreased appetite, stomach pain, nausea, darkened urine, pale stools, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes). People can become ill 15 to 50 days after being exposed to the virus. Anyone experiencing symptoms should seek medical attention.

Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department officials have confirmed 129 cases of hepatitis A have been reported in Hamilton County since May 2018. During this time, the Health Department has led an aggressive hepatitis A vaccine campaign, supported by community partners and the Tennessee Department of Health.  More than 5,000 vaccinations have been given so far.

Hepatitis A usually spreads by the fecal-oral route through ingestion of contaminated food or drinks, close person-to-person contact with an infected person, and recreational drug use, particularly intravenous drugs. Doctors say the best ways to prevent hepatitis A infection are to get vaccinated and to practice good handwashing to remove germs.

Managers at the Western Sizzlin Restaurant say they do not have a comment and are referring all questions or concerns to the health department.