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State health officials on Monday were warning customers of a northeast Arkansas Subway that they may have been exposed to hepatitis after an employee recently tested positive for the virus.

Customers who went to the Subway at 121 Arkansas 463 North in Trumann should immediately be vaccinated for hepatitis A, the Arkansas Department of Health said.

The Subway serves about 100 customers daily, a department spokeswoman said, adding that many were likely repeat customers because it serves a small community.

State health officials said in a statement Monday that customers who went to the Subway between Jan. 23 and Feb. 6 should get a shot, which is effective even after exposure to the contagious disease that affects the liver.

Symptoms can take weeks to appear, and they range from a mild sickness for a few weeks to severe illness lasting several months, according to health officials. Symptoms include fever, nausea, fatigue and jaundice, which causes yellowing of the skin or eyes.

Those experiencing symptoms should seek medical care, state health officials said.

Hepatitis A is rarely fatal and most fully recover from it without lasting liver damage, according to the department.

Contracting the virus at a restaurant is also rare because it’s typically spread through close contact, the agency said.

The alert follows a hepatitis outbreak in northeast Arkansas last year that's seen 276 cases and three deaths since last February, according to department of health data.

Officials said they will be hosting a free vaccine clinic Feb. 12 and 13 at the Poinsett County Health Unit for people who may have been exposed or want a shot.

They said people who work in the food industry should be vaccinated, as well as needle drug users, people who’ve recently been incarcerated and those who are homeless.


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