PIERRE, S.D. (KEVN) - A case of Hepatitis A has been reported in a food handler employed at two Keystone restaurants. Individuals who ate at the Keystone Subway between May 2 and May 14 or at the Keystone Turtle Town between May 6 and May 13 should contact their health care provider to determine if they need a shot of hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin to decrease risk of illness.
The establishments are cooperating with the department on the investigation and there is no ongoing risk of exposure.
Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by a virus. The virus can be carried on an infected person's hands and can be spread by direct contact, or by consuming food or drink that has been handled by the individual.
Symptoms may include fever, headache, fatigue, poor appetite, nausea, abdominal discomfort, and vomiting. Urine may become darker, and then jaundice (a yellowing of the skin and eyes) may appear. The disease is rarely fatal and most people recover in a few weeks without any complications. Infants and young children tend to have very mild symptoms and are less likely to develop jaundice than are older children and adults. Not everyone who is infected will have all of the symptoms. Anyone who has symptoms of hepatitis A should contact their healthcare provider immediately.
The single most effective way to prevent the spread of Hepatitis A is careful hand-washing after using the toilet. Also, infected people should not handle foods during the contagious period, which begins two weeks before symptoms appear and extends a few days after jaundice appears.
Hepatitis A vaccination has been routinely recommended for children in South Dakota since 1999. Your healthcare provider can assist individuals who are unsure about their receipt of one or both doses of the recommended hepatitis A vaccine.
Find more information about Hepatitis A is available on the department’s website.