LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18 )- The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department confirms that a Lexington hotel worker has been diagnosed with hepatitis A.
An employee in the kitchen of the Clarion Hotel Conference Center-North, 1950 Newtown Pike, was diagnosed with the virus.
As a result, customers who ate at the hotel, including the Sports Page Bourbon and Bar Grill, from Nov. 26-Dec. 4, 2018, may have been exposed to the hepatitis A virus and are advised to get a hepatitis A vaccination.
While it is relatively uncommon for restaurant customers to become infected with the hepatitis A virus due to an infected food handler, anyone who consumed food or drink at this location during the stated time period is advised to get a hepatitis A vaccination. This is recommended whether the customers live in Lexington or elsewhere.
The ill employee is not working at the hotel and will remain off work until cleared to return. Environmental Health inspectors have worked with the restaurant to ensure proper cleaning of the facility and reviewed recommendations regarding employee health and exclusion of ill workers going forward.
Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that is usually spread when a person unknowingly eats or drinks something contaminated by small amounts of stool 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.
The best ways to prevent hepatitis A are to get vaccinated and to practice good hand washing. The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department recommends the hepatitis A vaccination for everyone in the community as the number of cases in the region and throughout the state continues to climb. The health department will be working with the hotel to provide hepatitis A vaccinations for its food-service staff.
The hepatitis A vaccine is available at most pharmacies and medical providers. You can also call the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department at 859-288-2483 to get help obtaining the vaccine by appointment.