KINGSPORT, Tenn. — Sullivan County Regional Health Department officials confirmed Tuesday that an employee working at McAlister’s Deli in Kingsport has been diagnosed with acute hepatitis A, according to a news release from the department.
Anyone who ate at the restaurant, at 2003 N. Eastman Road, from March 11-27 should contact the Health Department at 423-279-2777 for more information.
McAlister’s Deli has been proactive and supportive in protecting the public’s health, and the franchise is cooperating with the Health Department to take preventive measures, including closing for a thorough cleaning and requiring vaccination of all employees to ensure a clean and safe environment, according to the release.
The Health Department stressed that the hepatitis A vaccine is safe, effective, well-tolerated, and is the best protection against the virus. Additional protective measures, such as immune globulin injections, may be recommended for some people.
Free hepatitis A vaccines are being given at the Blountville and Kingsport offices of the Health Department. The Blountville office is located at 154 Blountville Bypass. The Kingsport office is located at 1041 East Sullivan St.
Symptoms of hepatitis A are fatigue, decreased appetite, stomach pain, nausea, darkened urine, pale stools and yellowing of the skin and eyes. People can become ill within 15 to 50 days after being exposed. Anyone experiencing symptoms should seek medical attention.
Hepatitis A usually spreads by the fecal-oral route through ingestion of contaminated food or drinks, close person-to-person contact with an infected person and recreational drug use, particularly intravenous drugs, according to the release. The best ways to prevent hepatitis A infection are to get vaccinated and wash hands to remove germs.
For more information, visit www.sullivanhealth.org or call the Health Department.