The Floyd County Health Department (FCHD) is working with the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) to investigate several recent cases of Hepatitis A. The Floyd County Health Department is working to identify and notify individuals who may have been exposed.
As of February 2, 2018, 10 cases of Hepatitis A have been confirmed among Floyd County residents, one that is linked to BOB EVANS restaurant on State Street, New Albany, Indiana. If you have eaten at BOB EVANS from February 20 to March 9 and develop any of the below symptoms you should seek medical attention. However, given these dates of exposure routine prophylaxis (use of vaccine or immune globulin) is not recommended by the state or CDC authorities for this type of contact.
Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver. It is highly contagious and is generally transmitted via Fecal - Oral routes or through consumption of contaminated food or water.
Individuals can contract the virus through contact with:
- Foods prepared or served by an infected person(s)
- Stool or blood of an infected person(s)
- Inanimate objects that may have trace amounts of fecal material from hand contact.
Symptoms vary greatly, from severe to none at all. Symptoms may include loss of appetite, nausea, tiredness, fever, stomach ache, dark (cola) colored urine, and light colored stools. Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes or skin) may appear a few days after the onset of these symptoms. Persons can become ill 15 to 50 days after being exposed to the virus. Most people who get Hepatitis A feel sick for several weeks, but they usually recover completely and do not have lasting liver damage.
Anyone who is exhibiting symptoms of Hepatitis A should contact a healthcare provider immediately. Individuals with symptoms should not prepare or serve food to others and should wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after eating and after restroom use.
The best way to prevent Hepatitis A is through vaccination. Children in kindergarten through Grade 3 have likely been immunized against Hepatitis A. Older children and adults may not have been immunized and are urged to check their vaccination status. It is also possible to prevent infection under some circumstances by the use of immune globulin.
For more information about Hepatitis A, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hav/afaq.htm