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Hepatitis Scare at Evansville’s Lone Star Steakhouse

flickr creative commons by chewy hooey
flickr creative commons by chewy hooey

The Vanderburgh County Health Department along with the Indiana State Department of Health are investigating a case of Hepatitis A in a food worker at the Lone Star Restaurant located in Evansville.

“We’ve been in contact with Lone Star and we wanted to let people know that they may have been exposed,” Dr. Ray Nicholson, Health Officer for the Health Department said.

Anyone who ate or drank at the Lone Star Steakhouse April 20, 2012 – April 26, 2012 could have been exposed to Hepatitis A. Also people who ate at Lone Star April 27, 2012 – May 3, 2012 could have also been exposed to the disease.

Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver.  The incubation period (time of exposure to development of symptoms) is usually 2 to 7 weeks. Symptoms may include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, pale colored stools, and dark urine.   Jaundice, a yellowing of the skin and eyes, may occur a few days after symptoms appear.  Symptoms usually last one to two weeks but can last longer.   Symptoms are more likely to occur in adults than in children. Severe complications are rare and occur more often in persons who have liver disease or a weakened immune system.  Anyone with symptoms of Hepatitis A is encouraged to seek medical attention promptly.

Hepatitis A is spread person-to-person by the fecal-oral route and occurs when a person eats food or drinks a beverage contaminated by someone with the virus.  Thorough hand washing after using the restroom, after changing diapers, and before touching or preparing food or drinks is the best way to control the spread of Hepatitis A.

A vaccine is available for those who were exposed to help lessen the effects or prevent the disease if given within 14-days of exposure.


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