GALLIPOLIS — Recently, the Gallia County Health Department has confirmed two positive cases of Hepatitis A in Gallia County.
One of these cases has been linked to a food handler at Arby’s located at 1521 State Route 7 South, Gallipolis, Ohio 45631. Arby’s Corporate, local management and employees have cooperated fully with the local and state health officials during this investigation. The Gallia County Health Department recommends individuals who ate at Arby’s from July 11 to July 18 get vaccinated for Hepatitis A for precautionary measures. To date, these are the only open investigations potentially related to the ongoing multi-state Hepatitis A outbreak. The Gallia County Health Department has been actively monitoring the situation in surrounding counties and vaccinating high risk populations in Gallia County. The department’s Facebook page states the second case involved an individual not employed in the food industry.
There are no known cases in Meigs County, according to a statement from the Meigs County Health Department on Thursday afternoon.
According to the Mayo Clinic out of Rochester, Minnesota, Hepatitis A is preventable through a vaccine and requires a medical diagnosis. It is short-term and resolves in days or weeks. It is spread through contaminated food and water and symptoms include fatigue, nausea, abdominal pain, low-grade fevers, yellow skin and diarrhea. Medical professionals recommend drinking more fluids, avoiding alcohol and getting plenty of rest with a Hepatitis A diagnosis. The disease is considered an infection of the liver. There are reportedly less than 20,000 cases of Hepatitis A diagnosed typically a year.
According to CDC.gov, “Hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C are liver infections caused by three different viruses. Although each can cause similar symptoms, they have different modes of transmission and can affect the liver differently. Hepatitis A is usually a short-term infection and does not become chronic. Hepatitis B and hepatitis C can also begin as short-term, acute infections, but in some people, the virus remains in the body, resulting in chronic disease and long-term liver problems. There are vaccines to prevent hepatitis A and hepatitis B; however, there is no vaccine for hepatitis C.”
Hepatitis A is now part of the routine vaccinations for children beginning at age 1, so many children are already protected.