Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus. The hepatitis A vaccine is very effective in reducing the risk of disease when administered within 14 days of the last day of exposure. Hepatitis A is usually spread by eating or drinking items that have been contaminated with the virus or by close personal contact with an infected person.
An employee of both restaurants/bars has been confirmed with having viral hepatitis A. Those who have had a hepatitis A infection, or one hepatitis A vaccination, are protected from the virus and do not need to take action. The Mecklenburg County Health Department, the Public Health Authority of Cabarrus County (Cabarrus Health Alliance), and the North Carolina Division of Public Health are recommending a vaccination or shot for exposed employees and patrons, if the vaccine or shot can be given within 14 days of the last exposure.
The Mecklenburg County Health Department at the 249 Billingsley Road location in Charlotte ONLY, will offer the following clinic hours for walk-in service:
- Wednesday, Feb. 20, from 8 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m.
- Thursday, Feb. 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 3 to 6 p.m.
- Friday, Feb. 22 from 8 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m.
- Monday Feb. 25 from 8 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m.
- Tuesday Feb. 26 from 8 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m.
- Wednesday, Feb. 27 from 8 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m.
No appointment is necessary. The vaccine must be given within 14 days of exposure. Persons who may have been exposed, and have questions, can call (704) 336-5398 or (704) 336-6436.
The Public Health Authority of Cabarrus County/Cabarrus Health Alliance will offer the following clinic hours for walk-in service at 300 Mooresville Road, Concord:
- Wednesday, Feb. 20 from 3 to 7 p.m.
- Thursday, Feb. 21, from 3 to 7 p.m.
- Friday, Feb. 22, from 3 to 7 p.m.
No appointment is necessary. The vaccine must be given within 14 days of exposure. Persons who may have been exposed, and have questions, can call (704) 920-1213.
Symptoms of hepatitis A appear two to seven weeks after exposure and commonly include fever, a feeling of being unwell, loss of appetite, diarrhea, nausea and abdominal discomfort. Urine may become darker in color and jaundice (a yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes) may appear.
Some individuals, especially children, may not develop jaundice, and may have an illness so mild that it can go unnoticed. However, even mildly ill persons can still be highly infectious. Most people recover without complications after several weeks. People who have pre-existing liver problems can become extremely ill if they contract hepatitis A. Anyone who experiences these symptoms should see their doctor.
Careful hand washing is the best way to prevent the spread of hepatitis A and should include vigorous washing of hands with soap and running water for a minimum of 20 seconds. All surfaces should be washed, including the back of the hands, wrists, between fingers and under fingernails. This is especially important after using the bathroom and before handling food or beverages. Anyone who may have been exposed is strongly encouraged to follow this practice to reduce the risk of spreading illness to others.
For more information:
Public Health Authority of Cabarrus County (Cabarrus Health Alliance)
Health Information Line: (704) 920-1213
Mecklenburg County Health Department
Communicable Disease division: (704) 336-5398 or (704) 336-6436
CDC information at http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/A/index.htm
: Mecklenburg County, Andy Fair at 704-995-6156
Cabarrus County, Betty Braxton at 704-920-1345