LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — A food worker at the UK Chandler Hospital has been diagnosed with a confirmed case of hepatitis A.
The employee worked in the hospital cafeteria in Pavilion A at the hospital. As a result, anyone who ate at the cafeteria from Oct. 11-30, including employees and hospital visitors, may have been exposed to the hepatitis A virus and are advised to get a hepatitis A vaccination.
The employee prepared food at the cafeteria but was not involved in food preparation for inpatients at the hospital and is not currently working and will remain off work until cleared to return.
It’s the second case of hepatitis A diagnosed in a food worker in Lexington this month. Last week, a worker at the Harrodsburg Road Frisch’s was also diagnosed.
Although there have been no confirmed cases of hepatitis A transmitted by food handlers or food service workers in Fayette County, anyone who has eaten at the hospital cafeteria during the stated time period is advised to get a hepatitis A vaccination.
The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department and UK HealthCare recommend the hepatitis A vaccination for everyone in the community as the number of cases in the region and throughout the state continues to climb. Kentucky schoolchildren were required to have the vaccination beginning the 2018-19 school year. Please check with your medical provider to see if your child has been vaccinated.
If you consumed food at the cafeteria during this time period and have questions, you can call 859-257-1000 for more information.
Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that is usually spread when a person unknowingly eats or drinks something contaminated with the virus from an infected person. Washing your hands with soap and warm water after using the bathroom, changing a diaper or before making food and drinks can help stop the spread of hepatitis A.
Symptoms of hepatitis A are fatigue, decreased appetite, stomach pain, nausea, darkened urine, pale stools and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes). People can become ill 15-50 days after being exposed to the virus. Anyone experiencing symptoms should seek medical attention.