Hepatitis A

UPDATE: Customers who used the restroom or ate at at the following Spanish Fork restaurants during the times listed may have been exposed to hepatitis A:

  • Sonic Drive-In (971 North Main Street, Spanish Fork) from December 23-24
  • Olive Garden  (1092 North Canyon Creek Parkway, Spanish Fork) from December 21-30
  • Tabitha’s Way Local Food Pantry (South County, Spanish Fork), from December 28-January 3 (only applies to food that is not canned)

If you think you were exposed, visit https://health.utah.gov/investigation/ to determine your risk, or call 801-851-HEPA (4372).

Related news story link

 

HEPATITIS A

Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease. It is usually transmitted  when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food, or water that have been contaminated by fecal particles from an infected person.

Symptoms include fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), which usually resolve within 2 months. Hepatitis A is not a chronic infection and most people fully recover.

Higher risk factors include travel to countries where hepatitis A is common, poor hygiene, homelessness, use of illicit drugs, and incarceration. The best way to prevent hepatitis A infection is vaccination, which is highly effective and especially important for people in these categories. Vaccination is also recommended for those who work among these populations, since having direct contact with someone who is infected puts you at risk.

You can confirm your vaccination status by asking your health care provider to  review your personal immunization record.  If you have not been vaccinated, visit your local health department (620 S. 400 E. for the St. George area). Your insurance plan may cover the cost (see below). You can also get vaccinated against hepatitis A through your health care provider or pharmacy.

In addition to getting immunized, you can help prevent hepatitis A infection by thorough hand washing with soap and warm water, especially after visiting a  restroom. A chlorine bleach solution is an effective disinfectant and should be used frequently to sanitize frequently touched surfaces such as:

  • Toilet handles
  • Faucets
  • Sinks
  • Counters and tables
  • Doorknobs
  • Light switches
  • Remote controls
  • Phones

Find more hepatitis A information at this Centers for Disease Control (CDC ) LINK

Insurance plans accepted by SWUPHD for hepatitis A vaccine:

Aetna
Deseret Mutual (DMBA)
PEHP
Select Health
Tall Tree
Healthy Premier
United
HSA Health Insurance
Medicaid
Chip

 

 

 

Flu Shoot-Outs Are Here!

Getting immunized is one of the best ways to protect yourself against influenza. The Southwest Utah Public Health Department has scheduled our annual Flu Shoot-Out in several locations in preparation for this year’s flu season. It’s inexpensive (or NO CHARGE with some insurances, see below)* and convenient, no appointment needed!

Salmonella Outbreak

Linked to cucumbers, 30 cases in Utah…

cucumbers.jpg

 

A salmonella outbreak linked to cucumbers imported from Mexico to the U.S. has sickened at least 285 people in 27 states. 30 cases are confirmed in Utah among 7 local health districts, resulting in seven hospitalizations.

Anyone who purchased cucumbers recently (between August 1st and September 3rd) is advised to throw them away (see this link for specific stores involved).

State agricultural and health departments are working with local and national agencies to investigate and end the spread of the outbreak.

Salmonella is a bacterial disease which causes fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea. Symptoms start between 12 and 72 hours after ingesting contaminated food or drinks and last from 4-7 days. Most people recover at home without treatment, but hospitalization may be required for dehydration and other complications. Children under 5, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems may experience more severe illness.

Ways to prevent salmonella infection include:

  • Wash surface area of produce to be eaten raw
  • Keep these foods separate from raw meat
  • Wash hands, work surfaces, and utensils with soap and water immediately after handling raw meat
  • Run non-porous cutting boards through the dishwasher

LINK: CDC information on the salmonella outbreak