A case of hepatitis A has been linked to an employee at Cheddars. Now the Health Department says if you ate at Cheddars on the South Loop between August 31st and last Thursday, September 8th, you need an injection that will protect you from the virus. The city will provide information on that free immunization later.
Symptoms may take a month to show up after you were exposed. Lubbock Health Department's Bridget Faulkenberry said, "Symptoms include fever, tiredness, loss of appetite, abdominal discomfort, and a little lighter or perhaps yellowing of the skin and eyes."
Hepatitis A is an infection of the liver. It is not to be taken lightly. It often leads to hospitalization, and sometimes, it can be fatal. It is not spread by coughing, sneezing, or casual contact. The virus itself is found in the stool of those who are infected, which is why the best way to prevent the spread of hepatitis A is by good hand washing, particularly after using the restroom or changing a diaper.
The state of Texas recommends a two dose vaccine to protect against hepatitis A. Dr. Ron Warner, an Epidemiologist at Texas Tech, gave KCBD the inside scoop about the hepatitis-A vaccine, which is recommended by the state. "The hepatitis A vaccine is one of the better vaccines we have right now. If you have had both doses-six months apart, there is very little chance of a risk. If you were not vaccinated, but exposed, you should follow the advice of the health department and your physician."
That vaccine is the same shot that is recommended after exposure. Dr. Warner says it is no worse than a flu shot. It's extremely effective.
We'll learn more from the health department tomorrow on when hepatitis A vaccine clinics will be available.