MERIDIAN — The Treasure Valley has seen three cases of hepatitis A in food-service employees in less than two months.
Idaho’s Central District Health Department on Tuesday confirmed an employee at the New Frontier Club, 116 E. Broadway Ave. in Meridian, worked this month while contagious. The shifts were on Aug. 2 and 3, from roughly 9 p.m. to after midnight each night.
The announcement comes days after the department confirmed a case of hepatitis A in another food-service employee, who worked at a Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews at 211 W. Parkcenter Blvd, between July 18 and Aug. 7. in Boise while contagious.
Another case was confirmed last month in a food-service worker at Saint Lawrence Gridiron in Boise, who worked while contagious between June 21 and July 14.
While it’s rare to become infected with hepatitis A through a food-service worker, the department is still urging those who visited the restaurants during those times to check to see if they have been vaccinated against the illness.
“Those who are unvaccinated and were potentially exposed can receive protection from hepatitis A if they get immunized within two weeks of the date they were exposed,” according to the release.
The department is offering the vaccine to patrons who may have been exposed. It may bill insurance where applicable, but there will be no cost to the person receiving the vaccine.
Patrons and employees can contact the department at 208-321-2222 during normal business hours to look up their vaccine status, make a vaccine appointment or ask questions related to hepatitis A and potential exposure.
Symptoms typically begin within 28 days of exposure, according to the release, but can occur anytime between 15 and 50 days after exposure. They include “abdominal pain, dark urine, fatigue, fever, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), light-colored stools, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting,” according to the release.