Washtenaw County health officials are warning patrons of an Ann Arbor restaurant about possible exposure to hepatitis A after confirming a worker there had the illness.
The infected staff member is not currently working at Cardamom Restaurant on Plymouth Road, investigators said. Washtenaw County Public Health has been moving to vaccinate other employees, investigators said Thursday.
The department said diners there between Sept. 16 and Oct. 3 may have been exposed. Anyone who consumed food or drink at the eatery in that time frame is asked to monitor themselves for symptoms of hepatitis A, which include fatigue, poor appetite, stomach pain/tenderness, nausea or vomiting, dark urine and jaundice.
Hepatitis A, a viral liver disease, generally is spread through ingestion of contaminated food and water or through direct contact with an infectious person, according to the World Health Organization.
Symptoms usually appear two to six weeks after exposure.
County health officials recommend hepatitis A vaccination or immune globulin, which can protect against the disease if given within two weeks of exposure.
“While hepatitis A can be very serious, we are fortunate to have an effective vaccine available,” said Dr. Jessie Kimbrough Marshall, medical director of Washtenaw County Public Health.
“We encourage anyone concerned about potential exposure to talk with their health care provider or Washtenaw County Public Health as soon as possible. Vaccination is strongly encouraged for all eligible individuals, as multiple counties in southeast Michigan have seen outbreaks of hepatitis A in recent months.”
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has noted an outbreak in more hepatitis A cases in Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, Wayne and St. Clair counties since August 2016. Through Sept. 27, the department had logged 341 confirmed cases, 268 hospitalizations and 14 deaths.
Last week, Wayne County health officials announced they were investigating two Grosse Pointe restaurants for hepatitis A cases.
Washtenaw County has not been identified as a part of the outbreak and “it is not yet known if this currently diagnosed case is related,” county health officials said Thursday.
Frequent hand-washing with soap and warm water after using the bathroom and before handling food can help prevent the spread of hepatitis A, the department said.