Health Alert: Hep A Confirmed In Worker At 2 Michigan KFC Restaurants

WWJ News
December 03, 2019 - 3:22 pm

(Photo by Moses Robinson/Getty Images for KFC) FILE


(WWJ) Health officials say people who ate at two Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants in Michigan may have been exposed to Hepatitis A.

The Genesee County Health Department, in conjunction with the Saginaw County Health Department, announced Tuesday that a case of Hepatitis A, a communicable liver disease, has been confirmed in a foodservice worker who was employed at both of the following the KFC locations:

  • 9230 Birch Run Rd. in Birch Run
  • 6021 Dort Hwy. in Grand Blanc Township

Both facilities are cooperating with the local health departments during this investigation, officials said. 

Anyone who ate or drank at the Birch Run KFC between Nov. 14-16, 2019, or the Grand Blanc KFC from Nov. 20-26, 2019, may be at risk.  

Those who have not been vaccinated for Hepatitis A or who experience a sudden onset of symptoms (see below) should contact a doctor.

Vaccination can prevent the disease if given within 14 days after exposure. People who were possibly exposed at the Birch Run KFC location are outside the 14 days to get post exposure vaccination to prevent illness; however they should seek medical attention if symptoms develop. For people who may have been exposed at the Grand Blanc KFC location it is important to get the vaccination as soon as possible, officials said. 

Hepatitis A is an infection of the liver caused by a virus that is shed in feces. It's most commonly spread if a person who has the virus does not wash their hands properly after using the bathroom and before preparing or touching food. Symptoms of infection may include sudden abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, headache, dark urine, and/or vomiting often followed by yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice).

Symptoms may appear from 14-50 days after exposure, with an average of about one month.

To reduce the risk of Hep A:

  • Get the hepatitis A vaccine.
  • Wash hands frequently, especially after using the bathroom, changing diapers, and before preparing and eating food. Rub hands vigorously with soap and warm running water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Clean and disinfect all surfaces areas, especially while someone in the household or workplace has symptoms. Particular care needs to be taken with areas such as toilets, sinks, trash, door knobs and faucet handles.
  • Do not prepare food if you have symptoms, and refrain from food preparation for at least three days after symptoms have ended.

The Genesee County Health Department will host a special Hepatitis A vaccination clinic at the Genesee County Health Department Burton Branch, G-3373 S. Saginaw St., Burton, on Tuesday December 3 from 4-7 p.m. and Thursday Dec. 5 from 8-11 a.m. and 1-3:30 pm.

Regular clinic hours for Hepatitis A vaccinations at the Genesee County Health Department Burton Branch are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday: 8–11 a.m. and 1–4 p.m. Tuesday; 1–4 p.m., and Thursday evening 4-6 p.m. by appointment.

This week, the Saginaw County Health Department will hold immunization clinics at 1600 N. Michigan Ave., Saginaw weekdays by appointment by calling 989-758-3840.

The Hep A vaccine is also available through some healthcare providers and many pharmacies. Call ahead to ensure your provider or pharmacy has the vaccine available.

For more information, visit this link, or call the Genesee County Health Department Hepatitis A Hotline at 810-257-3048.