Two employees at a Denny’s in Kissimmee have tested positive for hepatitis A and now, the Florida Department of Health is urging anyone who ate at the restaurant recently to get vaccinated.
The Florida Department of Health in Osceola County (FDOH-Osceola) has identified positive cases of Hepatitis A in food service workers in Kissimmee, Florida. FDOH-Osceola conducted an epidemiological investigation and determined two individuals who worked at Denny’s, located at 2051 E. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway, Kissimmee, Florida 34744, may have been infectious.
The Hepatitis A vaccine may provide protection against the disease if given within two weeks after exposure. Therefore, the Hepatitis A vaccination is recommended for anyone who ate or drank at this restaurant between October 24 and November 1. Those who consumed food or beverage between October 14 and October 23 should instead observe for signs and symptoms of hepatitis A infection. This includes sudden onset of abdominal discomfort, nausea, vomiting, dark urine, fever, diarrhea, pale white stools, or yellow skin and eyes (jaundice). Anyone experiencing these symptoms should promptly seek medical attention.
If you previously have received the hepatitis A vaccine or have had a past history of a hepatitis A infection, you are considered immune to the hepatitis A virus and do not need to take additional action.
Those with specific questions about exposure to hepatitis A at Denny’s can call (407) 343-2155 to reach the FDOH-Osceola Epidemiology staff. FDOH-Osceola is encouraging all healthcare providers, including hospital emergency departments to stay on high alert and immediately report cases of hepatitis A to FDOH-Osceola, as well as identify those who would benefit from vaccination.
Contact your county’s health department for hepatitis A vaccinations if you live outside Osceola County. Vaccination is the best way to prevent hepatitis A.
People who should be vaccinated for hepatitis A include:
• All children at the age of 12 months
• People who are experiencing homelessness
• Users of recreational drugs, whether injected or not
• Men who have sexual encounters with other men
• People with direct contact with others who have hepatitis A
• Travelers to countries where hepatitis A is common
• People with chronic / long-term liver disease, including hepatitis B or hepatitis C
• People with clotting-factor disorders
• Family and caregivers of adoptees from countries where hepatitis A is common
FDOH-Osceola continues to offer the Hepatitis A vaccine at low or no cost at this clinic location from 8 AM to 4 PM weekdays:
Florida Department of Health in Osceola County 1875 Fortune Road, Kissimmee, FL 34744
If given within 14 days, the hepatitis A vaccine will help prevent infection among anyone exposed to the virus. As with the national outbreak, the majority of cases of hepatitis A in Florida are close contacts of persons experiencing homelessness or persons who use or inject drugs. Less than 5% of cases have been identified among food workers.
To date, FDOH has not identified a case of hepatitis A transmission from a food worker to a restaurant patron. Go to www.Osceola.FloridaHealth.gov or call (407) 343-2000 for information about FDOH-Osceola.