MSDH investigating hepatitis A exposure at Horn Lake restaurant

For the third time since the start of 2020, the State Department of Health (MSDH) is investigating possible hepatitis A exposure at a Mississippi restaurant. 

The MSDH is reporting that an infected employee worked at the Papa John’s location on Goodman Road in Horn Lake between January 28th – February 11th and may have exposed customers to the virus. 

Health officials stated that vaccination can prevent hepatitis A only if given within 14 days of exposure. If you’re outside of the 14-day window, the MSDH says that you should watch for any possible symptoms of hepatitis A and see a doctor if you become ill.

“The risk of transmission of hepatitis A in this situation is likely very low. However, as a precaution, we recommend that anyone who ate food from this restaurant between February 6th and February 11th should consider getting a hepatitis A vaccination if they have not done so already. And again, those who may have been exposed between January 28th and February 5th should watch for any possible symptoms of hepatitis A and see their doctor if they become ill,” said MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers.

Symptoms of the contagious liver disease include fever, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes), abdominal pain and dark-colored urine. 

Hepatitis A usually spreads when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food or drinks contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool (feces) from an infected person.

The MSDH is also currently investigating possible exposure at The Gumbo Pot in Vicksburg and a Huddle House in Laurel. 

Everyone can prevent the spread of hepatitis A by carefully washing their hands with soap and water, including under the fingernails, after using the bathroom or changing diapers, and before preparing or eating food.