Hepatitis A Outbreak in Springfield

Hepatitis A Outbreak in Springfield

The News Leader has reported that an infected employee at the Red Robin restaurant, located at 3720 S. Glenstone, has potentially exposed up to 5,000 customers to the Hepatitis A virus. People at risk of infection are those who ate at the local restaurant in the weeks leading up to the May 16th discovery of the exposure.

Hepatitis A is an acute infection of the liver caused by the HepatitisA virus. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), fever, and abdominal pain. In their early form, these symptoms may mimic the flu. Symptoms usually commence within two to six weeks of exposure, and they typically last for about two months. Fortunately, the outcome is usually favorable, although, occasionally, acute liver failure may develop and that can be a life-threatening condition.

If you have eaten at this Red Robin restaurant in the time window between May 8th and May 16th, the Health Department recommends that you get vaccinated. A free immunization clinic has been set up at Remington’s, 1655 W. Republic Road. Vaccination is effective at preventing infection from the disease, but only if administered within two weeks of exposure, so it important to act quickly to protect yourself from this threat, if your exposure was in this window of time.

The infected employee reportedly worked for Red Robin for several months, andpeople may have been exposed well prior to May 8th. Persons exposed before May 8th should be on the look out for symptoms, but news reports indicate that it is now too late for effective vaccination.

Hopefully, this incident passes with no one seriously affected. However, if you or someone you know contracts symptoms of this disease you should immediately seek medical attention. If your circumstance progresses to the point where you think it may be appropriate to consult legal counsel, the attorneys at Bruer Wooddell & Harrell, P.C., would be happy to speak with you.