Cabarrus Health Alliance cautions of possible exposures to Hepatitis A at Concord restaurant

Feb. 20, 2013 -- The Cabarrus Health Alliance and Mecklenburg County Health Department would like to caution anyone who ate at Hooters on Bruton Smith Blvd. in Concord, N.C. on Feb. 7 or 8, 2013 between the hours of 10:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. of a possible exposure to Hepatitis A. People who ate or drank at the Whiskey Warehouse, located at 1221 The Plaza in Charlotte on Feb. 6, 2013 between the hours of 5:30 and 7:30 p.m., on Feb. 9, 2013 between the hours of 4:30 p.m. and 3:30 a.m. or on Feb. 13 between 7 and 8:30 p.m., may also have been exposed to Hepatitis A.
 
Officials have confirmed an employee of both restaurant/bars has viral Hepatitis A. Those who have had a Hepatitis A infection or one Hepatitis A vaccination are protected from the virus and do not need to take action. The Mecklenburg County Health Department, the  Public Health Authority of Cabarrus County (Cabarrus Health Alliance), and the North Carolina Division of Public Health are recommending a vaccination or shot for exposed employees and patrons, if the vaccine or shot can be given within 14 days of the last exposure. The vaccine is a prevention measure only. If symptoms are already present, persons should consult with a health care provider. 
 
For residents of Cabarrus County:
The Public Health Authority of Cabarrus County/Cabarrus Health Alliance at 300 Mooresville Road, Kannapolis will offer the following clinic hours for walk-in service:
 
• Wednesday, Feb. 20,  3-7 p.m.,
• Thursday, Feb. 21, 3-7 p.m.,
• Friday, Feb. 22, 3-7 p.m.,
 
No appointment is necessary. The vaccine must be given within 14 days of exposure. Persons who think they might have been exposed can call (704) 920-1213 with questions.

For residents of Mecklenburg County:
The Mecklenburg County Health Department at the 249 Billingsley Road location ONLY, will offer the following clinic hours for walk-in service:
 
• Wednesday, Feb. 20, from 8-11 a.m. and 1-4 p.m.
• Thursday, Feb. 21 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and 3-6 p.m.
• Friday, Feb. 22 from 8-11 a.m. and 1-4 p.m.,
• Monday Feb. 25 from 8-11 a.m. and 1-4 p.m.
• Tuesday Feb. 26 8-11 a.m. and 1-4 p.m.,
• Wednesday, Feb. 27 8-11 a.m. and 1-4 p.m.
 
No appointments are necessary. The vaccine must be given within 14 days of exposure. People who think they may have been exposed with questions can call (704) 336-5398 or (704) 336-6436.
 
Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by the Hepatitis A virus. The Hepatitis vaccine is very effective in reducing the risk of disease when administered within 14 days of the last day of exposure. Hepatitis A is usually spread by eating or drinking items that have been contaminated with the virus or by close personal contact with an infected person. Symptoms appear 2–7 weeks after exposure and commonly include fever, a feeling of being unwell, loss of appetite, diarrhea, nausea and abdominal discomfort; urine may become darker in color and jaundice (a yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes) may appear.
Some individuals, especially children, may not develop jaundice, and may have an illness so mild that it can go unnoticed. However, even mildly ill persons can still be highly infectious. Most people recover without complications after several weeks. People who have pre-existing liver problems can become extremely ill if they contract Hepatitis A. Anyone who experiences these symptoms should see their doctor.
 
Careful hand washing is the best way to prevent the spread of Hepatitis A and should include vigorous washing of hands with soap and running water for minimum of 20 seconds. All surfaces should be washed including the back of the hands, wrists, between fingers and under fingernails. This is especially important after using the bathroom and before handling food or beverages. Anyone who may have been exposed is strongly encouraged to follow this practice to reduce the risk of spreading illness to others.
 

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Public Health Authority of Cabarrus County (Cabarrus Health Alliance)
Health Information Line: (704) 920-1213
 www.cabarrushealth.org
 
Mecklenburg County Health Department
Communicable Disease division: (704) 336-5398 or (704) 336-6436
www.meckhealth.org
 
CDC information at http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/A/index.htm