South Carolina restaurant worker diagnosed with hepatitis A
Restaurant customers who ate at Aiken Brewing Company during a sixteen-day period in January 2019 may have been exposed to hepatitis A. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) was notified on January 31, 2019, that a restaurant employee tested positive for the virus and may have infected customers there.
Customer who ate at Aiken Brewing Company, located on Laurens Street SW in Aiken, South Carolina, between January 11 and January 26, 2019, may have been exposed to hepatitis A. DHEC is continuing to investigate the situation to determine how many people may have been exposed to the virus. Any illnesses would have been caused by the employee handling food that was then served to customers. DHEC inspected the restaurant on January 9, 2019, and it received an A rating.
One Aiken Hepatitis Lawyer stated:
“Hepatitis A takes 15 to 50 days to become symptomatic, and is often accompanied by, initially, diarrhea and nausea, but also jaundice and fatigue. The symptoms can last for several months. There is no effective treatment.”
Symptoms of hepatitis A infection include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, and yellowing of the eyes and skin. Most people show signs of illness within two to six weeks of being exposed to the virus. Although the Aiken County Health Department was offering post-exposure treatment for potentially infected restaurant customers, for many it would be too late. Post-exposure vaccination is recommended for individuals if it can be administered less than two weeks from their date of consuming anything from the restaurant.
Certain individuals are at greater risk for severe hepatitis A infection. Those individuals include anyone with a weakened immune system, liver disease (such as hepatitis B or C) or anyone who abuses injection or non-injection drugs.