A former employee at the Denny’s restaurant located at 4030 Dutchman’s Lane in St. Matthews, in metropolitan Louisville,  has been diagnosed with acute hepatitis A.

Hepatitis A Vaccine Image/National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Hepatitis A Vaccine
Image/National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

The employee worked at the restaurant from February 9-22, 2018. As a result, customers who ate at the restaurant during that time period may be have been exposed to the hepatitis A virus.  If they develop symptoms of hepatitis A such as fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea, and jaundice, (yellowing of the skin and eyes), they should see their healthcare provider. Persons can become ill 2 to 6 weeks after being exposed to the virus.

On November 21, 2017 the Kentucky Department for Public Health declared an outbreak of acute hepatitis A in several counties throughout the state.  To date there have been 142 cases in Kentucky of which 124 have occurred Louisville as of last week.

The Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness continues to work to control an outbreak of acute hepatitis A that has centered in the city’s homeless and among those who use illicit drugs.

Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable, communicable disease of the liver caused by a virus. It is usually transmitted person-to-person through the fecal-oral route or consumption of contaminated food or water. Most adults with hepatitis A symptoms may experience fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea, or jaundice, that usually resolve within 2 months of infection; most children less than 6 years of age do not have symptoms or have an unrecognized infection. Antibodies produced in response to hepatitis A infection last for life and protect against reinfection. The best way to prevent hepatitis A infection is to get vaccinated.