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​Possible Public Hepatitis A Exposure at Village Tavern on Congress Street; Vaccination Clinics Scheduled

11/8/2018

​Patrons who ate at Village Tavern in Charlotte on Oct. 30 should receive a hepatitis A vaccination as soon as possible. 

Public Health Director Gibbie Harris announced today that the outbreak identified by the State and Centers for Disease Control earlier this year in Mecklenburg County has led 24 cases since Jan. 1, including a Village Tavern employee diagnosed Wednesday.

“After consulting with the State today, we are recommending a vaccination for all employees and exposed patrons who ate at Village Tavern located at 4201 Congress Street on Tuesday, Oct. 30,” Harris said. “According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the vaccine must be given within 14 days of exposure for it to be effective.”

Public Health vaccination clinics for customers who might have been exposed and for residents who meet the high-risk factors for hepatitis A will be held at Mecklenburg County Health Department, 249 Billingsley Road:

  • Thursday, Nov. 8, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Friday, Nov. 9, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 10, 9 a.m. – Noon
  • Sunday, Nov. 11, 9 a.m. – Noon
  • Monday, Nov. 12, 9 a.m. – Noon
  • Tuesday, Nov. 13, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
     


People who dined at Village Tavern on Oct. 30 are strongly urged to get a vaccination in the next six days.

Public Health announced on June 6 that North Carolina Public Health officials and the CDC declared an outbreak of the liver disease in Mecklenburg County. 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 high-risk factors include:

  • Those who are household members, caregivers, or have sexual contact with someone who is infected with hepatitis A
  • Men who have sexual encounters with other men
  • Those who use recreational drugs, whether injected or not
  • Recent travel from countries where hepatitis A is common
  • Homeless individuals who do not have easy access to handwashing facilities
     


The best ways to prevent hepatitis A include:

  • Get the hepatitis A vaccine,
  • Practice safe handwashing procedures – wash your hands under warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds after using the bathroom or changing diapers and before you prepare food, and 
  • Wear a condom during sexual activity.
     

In addition, Public Health staff continues to work with medical providers and community partners to educate residents about how to prevent hepatitis A and to implement a plan to educate and encourage vaccination of those most at-risk of contracting the virus. Here are hepatitis A resources available for use by the public.
 
Since 2012, hepatitis A virus cases have been on the rise across the country. Between July 2016 to November 2017, the CDC reports 1200 cases have occurred nationally, including 826 hospitalizations and 37 deaths. Outbreaks have occurred in California, Utah, Kentucky, Michigan, Indiana, and West Virginia.
 
Here are the facts about hepatitis A:

  • It’s a highly contagious liver disease caused by a virus spread from person to person. The illness can last for weeks to months. Only acute cases are reportable in North Carolina. 
  • Hepatitis A spreads through the fecal-oral route, most commonly by forgetting to wash your hands after using the bathroom or changing diapers, having sexual contact with infected partners and eating or drinking foods contaminated by hepatitis A. 
  • Hepatitis A symptoms include nausea, fever, yellowing of the eyes and skin, dark urine, grey feces, joint pain, feeling tired, loss of appetite and stomach pain.
  • The best way to prevent hepatitis A is to get the hepatitis A vaccine and to practice safe handwashing procedures – wash your hands under warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds after using the bathroom or changing diapers and before you prepare food. 
  •  Again, the most at-risk groups for hepatitis A are people who come into contact with someone who has hepatitis A, travelers to countries where hepatitis A is common, men who have sexual contact with men, people who use drugs (both injection and non-injection) and people with clotting factor disorders. 

 

If you have potentially been exposed to hepatitis A and are unable to receive the vaccine watch for the symptoms listed above. If you experience any of these symptoms, access medical care as soon as possible.

More information about hepatitis A is available at meckhealth.org.