Fayette County

Kitchen worker at popular Lexington hotel diagnosed with Hepatitis A.

A kitchen worker at Clarion Hotel Conference Center-North on Newtown Pike in Lexington has been diagnosed with Hepatitis A, according to the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department.

Customers who ate at the hotel, including the Sports Page Bourbon and Bar Grill, from Nov. 26 to Dec. 4 may have been exposed to the virus and are advised to get a Hepatitis A vaccination, the health department said Friday.

The hotel is fully cooperating with local and state health officials to investigate the matter, said Melissa McGuire, vice president of Hospitality of Bluegrass at the Clarion. The ill employee has not been in the hotel since Dec. 3, McGuire said.

The Hepatitis A case at the hotel is a single, isolated case, and the risk to guests who visited the hotel is low, the hotel said in a statement.

“We are committed to providing a clean and safe environment for all who visit and work at our restaurant,” the hotel said.

More than 100 people in Fayette County have been diagnosed with Hepatitis A since August 2017. There were just 13 cases of the virus in September of this year.

The Clarion hotel employee is the latest food service worker in Central Kentucky to be diagnosed with Hepatitis A. The Lexington health department has already announced Hepatitis A cases among food service workers at Waffle House on Buena Vista Road, Hardee’s on Richmond Road and Frisch’s on Harrodsburg Road.

Also in Lexington, a food service worker at University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital was diagnosed with the disease in November. Restaurant employees in other Central Kentucky towns, including Winchester, Richmond and Frankfort, have also been diagnosed with Hepatitis A.

Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that is usually spread when a person unknowingly eats or drinks something contaminated by small amounts of stool from an infected person. Washing hands with soap and warm water after using the bathroom, changing a diaper or before making food and drinks can help stop the spread of hepatitis A.

Symptoms of hepatitis A are fatigue, decreased appetite, stomach pain, nausea, darkened urine, pale stools and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes). People can become ill 15-50 days after being exposed to the virus. Anyone experiencing symptoms should seek medical attention.

The vaccine is given in two doses six months apart. It’s available from some medical providers and many pharmacies in Lexington, the health department said. It’s also available at the health departments’ Public Health Clinic by appointment. Call 859-288-2483 to schedule an appointment.

Mike Stunson covers breaking news and real-time news for the Lexington Herald-Leader and Kentucky.com. He is a 2011 Western Kentucky University graduate who has previously worked at the Paducah Sun and Madisonville Messenger as a sports reporter.
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