BOISE, Idaho — Health officials have confirmed a case of hepatitis A in food service worker employed at a Boise restaurant.
According to the Central District Health Department, the employee of Saint Lawrence Gridiron on Bannock Street worked various days and shifts during the period they were contagious.
Hepatitis A is a virus that affects the liver and can make people sick for a number of weeks. At this point, the health department said, the food service worker is the only hepatitis A case associated with Saint Lawrence Gridiron.
Based on the infectious period of the virus, anyone who ate at the restaurant during the following time frames should check their immunization records to see if they have received a hepatitis A vaccine:
- June 21 to June 24
- June 27 to July 1
- July 5 to July 8
- July 11 to July 14
The risk of becoming infected with hepatitis A through an infected food service worker is low but CDHD encourages anyone who was a patron during this time frame and has not received a hepatitis A vaccine, or is unsure about their vaccine status, to consider getting vaccinated.
CDHD is offering free hepatitis A vaccine to anyone who may have been exposed at this restaurant between June 21 and July 14.
In order for the hepatitis A vaccine to help prevent possible transmission, customers must get the vaccine within two weeks of the date they may have been exposed.
"Though public transmission risk is quite low, we recommend that patrons who ate at Saint Lawrence Gridiron during this timeframe to consider getting vaccinated and watch for symptoms of hepatitis A," epidemiologist Lindsay Haskell said in a statement. "Symptoms to watch for include abdominal pain, dark urine, fatigue, fever, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), light-colored stools."
Other symptoms may include loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, and usually start within 28 days of exposure to the virus or within a range of 15-50 days, officials said. People infected with hepatitis A are most contagious from two weeks before onset of symptoms to one week afterwards.
Not everyone infected with hepatitis A will experience all of the symptoms and some will not have any symptoms.
Anyone who experiences symptoms should seek medical attention.
Those with questions about their immunization record, who wish to make a vaccine appointment or have questions related to hepatitis A and potential exposure at Saint Lawrence Gridiron may call 208-321-2222.
A Frequently Asked Questions document about hepatitis A is available here.