Clark County

Central Kentucky Applebee’s employee diagnosed with Hepatitis A

An employee at Applebee’s in Winchester has been diagnosed with Hepatitis A, according to the Clark County Health Department.

Customers who ate or drank at the W Lexington Avenue restaurant between Nov. 14 and Nov. 25 are advised to get a Hepatitis A vaccination, the health department said.

The Applebee’s restaurant owners and employees have fully cooperated with local health officials, according to the health department. The infected employee is not working and will remain off work until cleared to return, the health department said.

The restaurant has been properly cleaned and the restaurant’s employees have reviewed health recommendations.

It is relatively uncommon for restaurant customers to be infected, the health department added.

It’s the second restaurant in Winchester to have an employee diagnosed with Hepatitis A this week. On Tuesday, the Fayette County Health Department said an employee at Waffle House on Carol Road was diagnosed with the disease. Lexington also had two restaurants —Hardee’s at 2990 Richmond Road and a Waffle House at 2347 Buena Vista Road — with Hepatitis A positive workers.

As of Nov. 17, there have been 2,769 cases of Hepatitis A statewide since Aug. 1, 2017, according to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

Symptoms of Hepatitis A include fever, fatigue, appetite loss, nausea, abdominal pain and dark urine, among others, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Symptoms of the infection tend to start appearing four weeks after exposure, but they can occur anywhere between two and seven weeks after exposure.

Hepatitis A is spread when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food or drinks contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from an infected person, according to the health department. Improper hand washing can lead to its spread from person to person.

The Hepatitis A vaccination is given in two doses six months apart and is available from medical providers and many pharmacies.