Lord Fairfax Health District Warns of Possible Hepatitis A Risk

November 21, 2018

For More Information, Contact Northern Region Public Information Officer Lorrie Andrew-Spear
Lorrie.Andrew-Spear@vdh.virginia.gov – 571-438-9381

(Winchester, Va.) — The Lord Fairfax Health District issues the following alert: A food handler at Apple Mountain Exxon at 4774 John Marshall Highway, Linden, VA 22642 has been diagnosed with hepatitis A. As a result, persons who ate made to order food prepared in the deli such as deli sandwiches from this location from November 11 through November 20 may have been exposed to hepatitis A.

Health officials are not aware of any other cases of hepatitis A among patrons or staff at this time. Individuals who ate fresh food (not prepackaged) from the deli at Apple Mountain Exxon in Linden from November 11 through November 20, and have not been immunized against hepatitis A, may still benefit from vaccine or immune globulin to prevent hepatitis A if received within two weeks of exposure. Those who ate fresh food from the deli (not prepackaged) on those dates should contact their health care provider for vaccination or treatment within two weeks of the date of their suspected exposure.

Hepatitis A is an inflammation of the liver caused by the hepatitis A virus. The classic symptom of hepatitis A is jaundice, which is a yellowing of the skin or the eyes. Other symptoms of hepatitis A include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine and light-colored stools. Symptoms develop 15-50 days after exposure to the virus, which can occur through direct contact with another person who has the infection or by consuming food or drink that has been contaminated with the virus.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, please contact your medical provider to be evaluated. It is very important for people who have symptoms of hepatitis A to stay home from work, especially if they work in food service.

Frequent hand washing with soap and warm water after using the bathroom, changing a diaper, or before preparing food can help prevent the spread of hepatitis A.

Routine vaccination against hepatitis A has reduced the risk of this disease in the past decade. Vaccination is available to anyone, but specifically recommended for all children, for travelers to certain countries, and for people at high risk for infection with the virus. Hepatitis A vaccine is available from health care providers (including some pharmacies and travel clinics) to protect against this disease.

Individuals can contact their local health department with any questions concerning this investigation. For more information, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/epidemiology/epidemiology-fact-sheets/hepatitis-a/.