October 11, 2017

State of Alabama
Press Release: Public Health, Alabama Department of

Hepatitis A virus identified in a food handler in Anniston

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Burnestine Taylor, M.D.
(334) 206-5325

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH), in cooperation with Marco’s Pizza in Anniston, is investigating a food handler who is infected with hepatitis A virus. ADPH has contacted many customers directly. As a preventative measure, ADPH is suggesting customers who consumed food, whether by pickup or delivery, between the dates of September 26, 2017, through October 2, 2017, be identified. These patrons may need the Hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin to reduce their chance of illness.

Hepatitis A is a viral infection that can be transmitted person-to-person and by eating food or drinks prepared by an infected person. Hepatitis A vaccine can prevent infection, but only if given within 14 days of exposure to hepatitis A. The Hepatitis A vaccine can be given to persons 12 months to 40 years of age who have never had the vaccine. Persons over 40 years old can sometimes take the Hepatitis A vaccine or may require immune globulin.

“Adults with hepatitis A may have symptoms that include fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea and jaundice. These symptoms usually resolve within two months of infection,” said Dr. Burnestine Taylor, Medical Officer for Disease Control and Prevention, ADPH. “Children less than 6 years of age generally do not have symptoms or have an unrecognized infection. Almost all people who get hepatitis A recover completely.”

If you have eaten food prepared at Marco’s Pizza in Anniston between the dates of September 26, 2017 through October 2, 2017, contact your health care provider, pharmacy, or the Calhoun County Health Department regarding getting the vaccine as soon as possible. You may also contact your local provider if you are uncertain about your past vaccine status.

It is rare for hepatitis A to cause severe illness, but persons 50 years of age or older and those with other liver diseases are more at risk. The best way to prevent getting hepatitis A is to receive the vaccine within the first two weeks after exposure. Those who have previously been vaccinated with one dose of Hepatitis A vaccine need a second dose. Two doses are required to be considered protected from exposure.

For more information, please visit the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention at cdc.gov/hepatitis/hav/index.htm.

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10/10/2017



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