BECKLEY, WV (WOAY)- The Beckley-Raleigh County Health Department has confirmed a case of Hepatitis A in a food service worker employed at Ghent Elementary School. The Raleigh County Board of Education is working with the health department to prevent any new cases from arising in the community.
While the risk of contracting Hepatitis A from attending/visiting Ghent Elementary School is low, people who have not been vaccinated against Hepatitis A and who consumed food at the school between October 21, 2018 and November 9, 2018 should consider getting the Hepatitis A vaccine, not more than two weeks from the potential exposure, to help prevent infection.
Hepatitis A is a routine vaccination given to children at 12 months of age. Parents should check their children’s vaccination records or speak with their medical provider to determine vaccination history.
Inspectors were on-site at the establishment and spent time talking with employees and reviewed food- handling procedures. The Raleigh County Board of Education is taking the proper steps to clean and sanitize the facility.
The purpose of this alert is preventative as well as informative. No cases resulting from exposure while attending/visiting Ghent Elementary School have been reported. Most cases reported through the state have been person-to-person contact, occurring primarily among people who are transients, those who are homeless, persons who use injection and non-injection drugs and their close direct contacts.
Persons suspecting that they have symptoms of Hepatitis A should contact their health care provider. Persons working as food handlers who experience symptoms of Hepatitis A, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or jaundice should not work and should be seen by a health care provider. Individuals with questions should contact their personal health care provider or the Beckley-Raleigh County Health Department at 304-252-8531, Monday through Friday, 7 AM to 5 PM.
Individuals who consumed food at Ghent Elementary School during the timeframe can receive the Hepatitis A vaccine at the Beckley-Raleigh County Health Department on Friday, November 16, 2018 from 7 AM until 5 PM. Vaccine is also being made available on Saturday, November 17, 2018 from 8 AM until 11 AM. Hepatitis A vaccine can also be obtained from your healthcare provider or local pharmacy.