A food service worker at the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital in Lexington has been diagnosed with a confirmed case of Hepatitis A. The employee worked at the hospital cafeteria in Pavilion A in the UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital.
The school is now alerting anyone who ate at the cafeteria from October 11-23, including hospital visitors and employees, that they may have been exposed to the virus. Health experts recommend getting the vaccination if you ate at the location to avoid any infections.
Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease and is one of the several types of hepatitis virus’ that causes inflammation and affect your liver’s ability to function. One is more likely to get the virus from contaminated food or water or from close contact with a person or object that is infected. Symptoms typically appear weeks after one has been infected and include fatigue, nausea and vomiting, stomach pain, clay-colored bowel movement, fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, itching, and yellowing of the skin and wheels of your eyes.
Symptoms may be relatively minor and can go away in a few weeks, but some infections result in severe illness’ that can last for several months. Getting a Hepatitis A vaccination within two weeks of exposure may protect you from the infection.
The infected food service employee prepared food at the cafeteria but did not help prepare food for patients at the hospital. The employee is not currently working at the hospital and will remain off work until they are cleared to return by medical experts.
Statewide, health experts reported 2,410 Hepatitis A cases since August 2017 that resulted in 1,267 hospitalization and 16 deaths. In Fayette County, there have been 35 cases reported as of November 1.
The hospital will set up vaccination stations for UK HealthCare employees at Chandler Hospital Pavilion A, Floor 1, Room 01.123 and Good Samaritan Hospital, Conference Room A and B, during these dates and times:
- November 8, 2018: 2-8 p.m.
- November 9, 2018: 2-8 p.m.
- November 10, 2018: 4-8 p.m.
- November 11, 2018: 2-8 p.m.
All food service workers at UK HealthCare will be required to get the vaccine. If you believe you have exposed or have any questions you can call 859-257-1000 or your local health department.