BEREA, Ky. (LEX 18 ) — The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea said Saturday morning that a temporary worker at its cafe has tested positive for hepatitis A.
It said the worker went home feeling ill on Dec. 11 and hasn’t returned since. It said the employee informed the center of a positive diagnosis on Dec. 14.
Officials with the center say they have informed the Kentucky Department of Public Heath and is working with the department to implement disinfecting protocols outlined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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.
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 hepatitis A vaccine is available at most pharmacies and medical providers.