The Utah County Health Department released information regarding two possible sources of Hepatitis A infection in Spanish Fork. Clients who dined at the Sonic Drive-in (971 North Main Street) between December 23rd and 24th, or at the Olive Garden (1092 North Canyon Creek Parkway) between December 21st and December 30th are considered at risk of infection. The health department opened an online Hepatitis A health risk assessment tool, and encourages persons who have visited these restaurants in the respective intervals to use it, in order to determine the severity of the risk to their health.
These sources of infection are considered linked to an upswing in Hepatitis A cases throughout Utah County and other areas in the state of Utah, a trend which has started in August 2017. The Health Department’s investigation into these cases is ongoing, and representatives have stated that the restaurants in question are cooperating fully with the authorities, and have adopted additional health safety measures proposed by medical experts.
Hepatitis A is a disease to which food establishments are particularly vulnerable. This is because, should food handlers be infected, they can pass on the disease before they show any symptoms of it themselves. Prevention is thus far more easily achievable than containment. This is why personal hygiene and strict adherence to food handling protocols is paramount in preventing potentially serious impact on public health. There are vaccines available against Hepatitis A, and managers are encouraged to request that their employees get these preemptive treatments.
The symptoms of Hepatitis A are nausea that may lead to vomiting, jaundiced skin, often accompanied by itchiness, yellowing of the whites of the eyes, urine that is much darker in color than usual, diarrhea, chronic fatigue, and light-colored stool. Most of these symptoms are indicative of the liver producing high quantities of conjugated bilirubin. Luckily, the disease is