The state Department of Health said Wednesday that it will offer vaccinations against hepatitis A in Jonesboro on Friday and Saturday after a restaurant worker tested positive for the virus.
The Health Department also reported that a second death has been caused by hepatitis A during an outbreak in northeast Arkansas that has resulted in 237 infections since February.
People who ate at the On the Border restaurant at 2324 Red Wolf Blvd. in Jonesboro between Dec. 13 and Dec. 27 should seek vaccination immediately if they have never been vaccinated against hepatitis A or don't know whether they have been, the department said in a news release.
The department will offer the vaccine, which can prevent illness after exposure to hepatitis A, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Craighead County Health Unit at 611 E. Washington Ave. in Jonesboro.
People should provide insurance cards and driver's licenses, if they have them, but will not have to pay out of pocket for the shot, the department said.
The vaccine also may be available at other county health units, the department said. It said people should call to check on the availability before visiting one.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the outbreak is one of several across the country that have affected primarily drug users and homeless people.
In Arkansas, most of the cases have been reported in Greene, Craighead and Clay counties. Cases have also been reported in Arkansas, Cleburne, Cross, Independence, Jackson, Lawrence, Lee, Logan, Mississippi, Monroe, Phillips, Poinsett, Randolph, Sharp and White counties.
The disease affects the liver and is typically spread when a person ingests small amounts of fecal matter.
Although people may feel sick for months, most recover completely and will not have any lasting liver damage, the department said.
Typical symptoms include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal pain, dark urine, clay-colored bowel movements, joint pain or jaundice.
Metro on 01/03/2019
Print Headline: State to provide hepatitis A shots after Arkansas restaurant worker tests positive; 2nd death reported