The infection of another food-service worker in northeast Arkansas with hepatitis A prompted state health officials to issue an alert Tuesday.
The infected person worked at the Steak 'n Shake restaurant at 2307 E. Parker Road in Jonesboro, according to a news release from the state Department of Health.
People who ate at the restaurant on June 3 between 4 and 10:30 p.m. should seek care immediately if they have never been vaccinated against the disease, the department said.
Such care can be provided through vaccination or treatment with immune globulin, both of which can prevent illness after exposure to the virus, the department said.
The department will offer the vaccine at a walk-in clinic from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. today and Friday at the Craighead County Local Health Unit in Jonesboro.
The Greene County Health Unit in Paragould also will hold a similar clinic from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday.
Last week, the department said 31 cases of the contagious liver disease have been reported in northeast Arkansas since February, with the majority of cases reported in Clay and Greene counties.
Cases also have been reported in Lawrence and Randolph counties, according to the department.
Infections of two other food-service workers since have prompted alerts similar to the one issued Tuesday.
According to the department, the virus can cause illness two to seven weeks after exposure, with most people developing symptoms in three or four weeks.
Typical symptoms are fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal pain, dark urine, clay-colored bowel movements, joint pain or jaundice, the department said.
About 1 in 3 adults who becomes infected must be hospitalized, the department said. Although they may feel sick for months, most people infected with hepatitis A will recover completely and will not have any lasting liver damage, the department said.
Hepatitis A vaccinations have been required for Arkansas children in day cares, kindergartens and first grade since 2014. Most adults are likely not vaccinated, although they may get vaccinations if they travel out of the country, the department said.
Health care providers reported seven cases in the state last year, 13 in 2016 and 10 in 2015.
Metro on 06/14/2018
Print Headline: New infection prompts hepatitis A alert; Early June diners at Steak ’n Shake in Jonesboro at risk, Health Department says