The Northwest Georgia Health District says a food retailer at McDonalds in Chickamauga on Lafayette Road has been diagnosed with hepatitis A.
A study showed that this employee was working at the restaurant while infectious from 4. March to March 17 .
We spoke to the owner of McDonald's Thursday shortly after the news broke. He told us that the infected part-time employee will not work at the restaurant until they are medically cleared.
The owner, Jim Aaron, released this statement to NewsChannel 9:
"We were notified by the Walker Countyh Health Department that one of our employees has become ill, but the transmission risk for guests and staff who have visited our restaurant are low, at which time we fully cooperate with local officials to ensure the health and safety of all our staff and guests My organization takes proactive steps to offer to vaccinate all our employees against hepatitis A. We are 100 percent committed to providing a clean and safe environment for anyone visiting our restaurant. "
Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus. The virus is one of several types of hepatitis virus that causes inflammation and affects the ability of the liver to function. However, it can be treated and the best way to avoid the virus is to wash your hands regularly.
Although it is relatively rare for restaurant customers to become infected with hepatitis A virus due to an infected food retailer, "There may be public risk," said district health director Dr. Unini Odama, "and so we do everything necessary to protect the public and anyone who may have been accidentally exposed to the hepatitis A virus."
The health district urges customers in the restaurant to contact their doctor or their local health department to determine if a vaccination is needed.
Free hepatitis A vaccination will be provided at Catoosa and Walker County Health Departments on Thursday, March 28, at. 8-18. Friday, March 29, 8.00-22.00; and saturday March 30 from noon 08:00 to 12:00.
- Catoosa County Health Department, 145 Catoosa Circle, Ringgold, GA 706-406-2000
- Walker County Health Department, 603 E. Villanow Street, LaFayette, GA 30728 706-638-5577
This is the third confirmed case of hepatitis A this year involving a food trader at a restaurant in the NewsChannel 9 area.
Last week, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department said a Western Sizzlin employee in Ooltewah diagnosed with hepatitis A. It called on customers who ate in the restaurant between March 10 and March 20 to be vaccinated.
Last month, a restaurant worker at Crescent City Tavern in Dalton was also diagnosed, and the Whitfield County Health Department called on customers who ate there between December 28, 2018 and January 31, this year to be vaccinated.
Anyone who took food and / or drink at Chickamauga McDonalds on the dates the employee was working on was also asked to:
- Monitor their health for symptoms of hepatitis A infection for up to 50 days after exposure .
- Wash their hands with soap and hot water frequently and thoroughly, especially after using the bathroom and before preparing food.
- Stay at home and contact their healthcare professional immediately if symptoms of hepatitis A infection develop.
Careful hand wash, including underneath the fingernails, with soap and water along with vaccination of any risk of infection prevents the spread of this disease.
This is a developmental history and will be updated.