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Food handler at Bloomington community center tests positive for hepatitis A, free vaccines offered

Posted: 1:17 PM, Dec 28, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-28 18:29:49Z
Shalom Community Center.JPG

BLOOMINGTON — A food handler at a community center in Bloomington has tested positive for hepatitis A.

The Monroe County Health Department issued a notice on Friday that a person who may have handled food at the Shalom Community Center on S. Walnut Street has been diagnosed with hepatitis A. Health officials believe that person may have worked, while ill, sometime between December 13 and December 24.

The health department says anyone who attended meals or any volunteers or staff who ate or drank at the Shalom Community Center in that time frame should get vaccinated for hepatitis A by January 7. The notice does not affect the general public.

The Monroe County Health Deparment is offering free vaccinations to anyone who fits that description from 8:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. on January 2 at the Monroe County Public Health Clinic or from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, January 4, at the Shalom Center.

Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver that can cause the following symptoms:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Tiredness
  • Fever
  • Stomach Pain
  • Brown Urine
  • Light-colored stools
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes

Anyone who consumed food and/or drink at Shalom Community Center from 12/13/18 to 12/24/18 is also asked to:

  1. Monitor their health for symptoms of hepatitis A infection up to 50 days after exposure.
  2. Wash their hands with soap and warm water frequently and thoroughly, especially after using the bathroom and before preparing food.
  3. Stay at home and contact their healthcare provider immediately if symptoms of hepatitis A infection develop.
  4. Careful hand washing, including under the fingernails, with soap and water, along with vaccination of anyone at risk of infection, will prevent the spread of this disease.

CDC recommends hepatitis A vaccination for the following groups:

  • All children at age 1 year
  • Travelers to countries that have high rates of hepatitis A
  • Family members and caregivers of recent adoptees from countries where hepatitis A is common
  • Men who have sexual contact with other men
  • People who use illicit drugs
  • People with chronic (lifelong) liver diseases, such as hepatitis B or hepatitis C
  • People who are treated with clotting-factor concentrates
  • People who work with hepatitis A-infected animals or in a hepatitis A research laboratory

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