Fayette County

Health Department: Customers of three Lexington-area restaurants at risk for hepatitis A

Customers who ate recently at three Lexington-area restaurants may have been exposed to hepatitis A, according to the Lexington-Fayette Health Department.

Anyone who ate in November at the Hardee’s at 2990 Richmond Road in Lexington, the Waffle House at 2347 Buena Vista Road in Lexington or the Waffle House at 4 Carol Road in Winchester may have been affected, according to the health department.

“While it is relatively uncommon for restaurant customers to become infected with the hepatitis A virus due to an infected food handler, anyone who consumed food or drink at these locations during the stated time period is advised to get a hepatitis A vaccination,” the health department said in a news release.

The infected staff members at the three restaurants will not return to work until they are medically cleared, according to the health department.

Hepatitis A is an infectious disease of the liver that can be transmitted from person to person by contaminated food and water, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Symptoms of hepatitis A include fatigue, stomach pain, nausea, darkened urine and jaundice, according to the health department. To avoid getting the infection, the health department recommends getting vaccinated and carefully washing hands with warm water and soap after using the bathroom and before making food and drinks.

Anyone in a highrisk group for hepatitis A is asked to contact the Lexington-Fayette Health Department at 859-288-2483 or the Clark County Health Department at 859-744-4482 to get help getting vaccinated.

As of Nov. 17, an outbreak of hepatitis A that began in August of 2017 had affected 2,769 people, hospitalized 1,438 and killed 17, according to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services.