Vaccination for those affected by hepatitis A at Taco Bell available Wednesday


A hepatitis A vaccination clinic will be available Wednesday for those affected by the recent case at a local fast-food restaurant.

The Jackson County Health Department will offer vaccinations from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday at the American Legion Annex, 400 W. Second St., Seymour.

The vaccination is only available to those who consumed food and drinks purchased at the Taco Bell drive-through, 1509 E. Tipton St., on Nov. 13 and 14. Officials also have set up a hotline for those who have questions.

Health department officials confirmed last week an employee at the restaurant worked at the drive-through on those dates while ill. Officials said Taco Bell is assisting and has been helpful during the process.

Hospitals are required by law to report positive hepatitis A cases to local health departments. Departments then conduct investigations, confirm reports and communicate with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and wait for a recommendation.

Plans of action are only conducted when the general public is affected, officials said, and sometimes, the CDC does not recommend a vaccination.

The vaccine includes one shot, and then another six months later.

“We are encouraging people to check their immunization records, check with their doctors, but if they feel they weren’t protected and were there with the drive-through on those days to come ahead and go to our clinic,” said Lin Montgomery, the health department’s public health coordinator.

Vaccines also are available at CVS Pharmacy and Walgreens, which will be billed to health insurance.

Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver that can cause loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, fever, stomach pain, brown-colored urine and light-colored stool. Yellowing of the skin or eyes also may appear.

It usually spreads when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food and drinks contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from an infected person. All infected people can transmit the disease to others.

The department said in a release that it’s relatively rare for customers to become infected with hepatitis A virus due to an infected employee, but anyone who utilized the drive-through on those dates is encouraged to receive a vaccination. Customers who used the lobby were not affected, Montgomery said.

Individuals can become ill up to seven weeks after being exposed to the virus.

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If you consumed food or drinks from the drive-through at Taco Bell, 1509 E. Tipton St., Seymour, on Nov. 13 or 14, you are encouraged to receive a hepatitis A vaccine.

What: Jackson County Health Department hepatitis A vaccine for affected individuals

When: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday

Where: American Legion Annex, 400 W. Second St., Seymour

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Those who consumed food from the Taco Bell drive-through Nov. 13 and 14 should:

1. Monitor symptoms of hepatitis A infection up to 50 days after exposure.

2. Wash hands with soap and warm water frequently and thoroughly, especially after using the bathroom and before preparing food.

3. Stay at home and contact their health care provider immediately if symptoms of hepatitis A develop.

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Call the health department’s Hepatitis A hotline with questions at 812-569-0854.

Do not call the regular office number.


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