Nurses explain symptoms of Hepatitis A

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HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) — After an Ooltewah restaurant employee was diagnosed with Hepatitis A, nurses want to educate people about the virus.

People who recently ate at the Western Sizzlin in Ooltewah acted quickly when they found out an employee was diagnosed with acute Hepatitis A.

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They went to the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department to get a vaccine.

“The help here as far as the nurses were very good. The shot does not hurt. Because some people are afraid of shots, The shot did not hurt, parking is free and the vaccination was free,” Kim Pendergrass said.

Nurses say Hepitatis A attacks the liver.



“Typically it is a food transmission of fecal oral transmission,” said Connie Buecker with the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department.

Symptoms include abdominal pain and vomiting. According to Buecker, there are usually not lots of cases in the United States.

“The virus is normally not a fatal disease. In fact when children get it in other countries, they can the parents can recall a time when they had sort of flu like symptoms and kids can bounce back pretty easily. Adults, not so much,” Buecker said.

In addition to getting the vaccine, nurses say another good way to prevent yourself from getting Hepatitis A is to wash your hands.

“Washing your hands is really a good idea. What I have been of late trying to encourage people is to not go to work when you are sick,” Buecker said.

This situation had Pendergrass worried at first, but not anymore.

“It makes you second guess whether or not you should go out and go to restaurants, but we are restaurant people. We go out at least four or five times a week. So I am not going to stop my life style just over something that could happen anywhere,” Pendergrass said.

More clinics are being offered on Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Ooltewah Heath Center and the Health Department’s main campus.

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