Hepatitis A case confirmed in food service worker

Employee worked various shifts while contagious
Posted at 2:40 PM, Jul 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-17 19:38:19-04

BOISE, Idaho — The Central District Health Department officials have confirmed a case of hepatitis A in an employee of Saint Lawrence Gridiron, a restaurant in downtown Boise.

Officials say the employee worked various days and shifts during the period they were contagious. Anyone who ate at the restaurant during the following time frames should check their immunization records to see if they received a hepatitis A vaccine.

o June 21 to June 24

o June 27 to July 1

o July 5 to July 8

o July 11 to July 14

Officials say the risk of becoming infected through an infected food service worker is low, but the CDHD encourages anyone who may have been exposed who is not vaccinated to consider getting the vaccine, and is offering a free vaccine to anyone who might have been exposed.

In order for the hepatitis A vaccine to help prevent possible transmission, patrons 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,” said Lindsay Haskell, staff epidemiologist with CDHD. “Symptoms to watch for include abdominal pain, dark urine, fatigue, fever, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), light-colored stools,” said Haskell. Other symptoms may include loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting. If symptoms occur, seek medical attention.

Hepatitis A is a virus that affects the liver and can make people sick for a number of weeks. Symptoms usually start within 28 days of exposure to the virus or within a range of 15-50 days. People infected are most contagious from two weeks before onset of symptoms to one week afterward. Officials say not everyone infected with hepatitis A will experience the symptoms and some may not have any at all.

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 this restaurant may call 208-321-2222.

Officials say the food service worker is the only hepatitis A case in Idaho associated with this restaurant at this time.