An employee of a Whataburger restaurant located at 2800 Guadalupe Street in Austin has been diagnosed with hepatitis A virus. Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease usually spread when a person ingests something that has been contaminated with the feces of an infected person, including contaminated food or water.
While transmission of the infection to customers is not likely, the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department is recommending that people contact their physician if they ate prepared food items at this location beginning August 7th through August 19th and are: 75 years of age and older, immune compromised, persons with chronic liver disease including individuals who had a liver transplant, persons with clotting-factor disorders and persons experiencing hepatitis A symptoms.
The city’s public health department is also working with the Whataburger Corporation to ensure employees use proper control measures at the Guadalupe location.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that results from infection with the Hepatitis A virus. It can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months.
Hepatitis A is usually spread when a person ingests fecal matter, even in microscopic amounts, from contact with objects, food, or drinks contaminated by feces or stool from an infected person.
Not everyone has symptoms. If symptoms develop, they usually appear 2 to 6 weeks after becoming infected and can include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine and jaundice.
There is no specific treatment once symptoms appear, but a vaccination can help lessen the effects of the disease if given within 14 days of exposure. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page
The best way to control the spread of hepatitis A and many other illnesses is through proper hand washing, especially after using the restroom, changing diapers, and before eating or preparing food. Hand washing should include 20 seconds of vigorous soaping of all parts of the hands, especially between fingers and under fingernails.