Restaurants Urged to Get Proactive on Hepatitis A Outbreak


  • Tennessee Department of Health
State officials notified restaurants and food service businesses earlier this month of a multi-state outbreak of hepatitis A, which has largely been contained here in Middle Tennessee.

Since December, 36 cases of hepatitis A have been confirmed in Davidson County (Nashville), according to the Tennessee Department of Health (TDOH). Ten cases have been confirmed in the Upper Cumberland region east of Nashville.

Statewide, 61 cases have been confirmed since December. Thirty-one people have been hospitalized. No one has died. Only one case has been confirmed in Shelby County since December.
”Hepatitis A is a contagious, vaccine-preventable liver infection that is spread in the feces of infected people,” according to TDOH. “People most at risk for hepatitis A infection in this current outbreak include those experiencing homelessness, people who use drugs recreationally, and close contacts of these groups. Men who have sex with men are also at risk.

”Individuals with hepatitis A infection can be contagious for two weeks before and one week after they show symptoms.”
  • Tennessee Department of Health

A note of the outbreak went out to restaurants across the state earlier this month. Officials warned that hepatitis A can be transmitted through food and urged managers to closely follow rules on employee health, proper hand washing, and restrictions on bare-hand contact with with ready-to-eat foods.

Hepatitis A symptoms include yellowing of the skin and eyes, fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, “dark pee, pale poop, stomach pain, tiredness, lack of appetite.”

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