Health: Employee at Willy’s Mexicana Grill in Cartersville tests positive for hepatitis A; Public Health advises those who dined there May 31-June 17 to contact healthcare provider to see if immunization needed.

Health: Employee at Willy’s Mexicana Grill in Cartersville tests positive for hepatitis A; Public Health advises those who dined there May 31-June 17 to contact healthcare provider to see if immunization needed.

 

 

A look inside the new Willy’s in Cartersville prior to January 2017 opening. Facebook.

 

Public Health restaurant scores: Health inspections are totally unrelated to the tested employee. We did check the recent restaurant inspection scores for Willy’s and they’re all in the 90s: March 25, 98 (A); Oct. 2, 2018, 96 (A); and Feb. 22 2018, 91 (A).

Media release: A case of hepatitis A has been diagnosed in a food handler at Willy’s Mexicana Grill at 100 Main St., Cartersville. An investigation found that this employee worked while infectious this past May 31 through June 17. It is relatively rare for restaurant patrons to become infected with hepatitis A virus because of an infected food handler but anyone who consumed food or drink at Willy’s Mexicana Grill on the above dates should contact their healthcare provider to determine if a hepatitis A immunization is needed to prevent the disease.

Free hepatitis A immunization is available at the Bartow County Health Department at 100 Zena Drive in Cartersville.

Anyone who consumed food and/or drink at the restaurant on the dates that employee worked is also asked to:

  • Monitor their health for symptoms of hepatitis A infection up to 50 days after exposure.
  • Wash their hands with soap and warm water frequently and thoroughly, especially after using the bathroom and before preparing food.
  • Stay at home and contact their healthcare provider immediately if symptoms of hepatitis A infection develop.

Careful hand washing, including under the fingernails, with soap and water, along with vaccination of anyone at risk of infection, will prevent the spread of this disease.

Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver that can cause loss of appetite, nausea, tiredness, fever, stomach pain, dark-colored urine and light-colored stools. Yellowing of the skin or eyes may also appear. People can become ill up to 50 days after being exposed to the virus.

Hepatitis A is acquired when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food, or drinks contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from an infected person. The virus spreads when an infected person does not wash his/her hands adequately after using the toilet or engages in behaviors that increase risk of infection.

For more information on hepatitis A, go to www.cdc.gov/hepatitis.

Previous: Hepatitis A cases reported in Bartow, Floyd, Chattooga counties. Background

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