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FOR RELEASE: November 4, 2000
CONTACT: Dick Gunn
405/271-5601

Hepatitis A Confirmed in Yukon Food Handler

The Oklahoma State Department of Health, working with Canadian County Health Department officials, has confirmed that a food handler at the Braum's restaurant located at One West Main in Yukon, Oklahoma, has hepatitis A. Persons who ate sandwiches purchased between 10:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. on October 24-26, or October 28-30 may have been exposed to infectious hepatitis A.

Health officials recommend an immune globulin (IG) shot for persons who ate sandwich items on these days. Restaurant patrons who did not eat sandwiches at these times are not at risk for the transmission of hepatitis A from this food handler.

Persons who believe they are at risk can obtain an IG shot from their private physician or their local county health department. The Canadian County Health Department, 1023 E. Vandament in Yukon, phone 405/354-4872, will hold special clinics to administer Ig on the following days and times:

Monday, November 6th: 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., 2:00-4:00 p.m.
Tuesday, November 7th: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday, November 8th: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Thursday, November 9th: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Monday, November 13th: 10:00 a.m. –11:30, 2:00-4:00 p.m.

Health officials warn that immune globulin is in short supply in the United States, thus, each person should carefully evaluate whether he or she was exposed to the food items during the times and dates listed, before requesting IG.

Immune globulin should be given as soon as possible after the exposure and can be 80 to 90 percent effective in preventing hepatitis A. The shots are not recommended after two weeks following exposure. For example, persons who dined at the restaurant on October 24 must receive their IG immunization on or before November 7, 2000. Restaurant patrons on October 25 must obtain IG on or before November 8, and so forth. Only diners on October 30 will be eligible for the IG Immunization Clinic scheduled for November 13.

The best method to prevent the transmission of hepatitis A is through the practice of good personal hygiene, which includes thorough handwashing following use of the restroom or changing diapers.

Symptoms of hepatitis A include: fever, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and generalized weakness. These symptoms may be followed in a few days by dark brown urine and yellow eyes and skin. If these symptoms occur, persons should contact their private physician.

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