Thousands may have been exposed to hepatitis A at MO restaurant - KCTV5 News

Thousands may have been exposed to hepatitis A at Missouri restaurant

Posted: Updated:
An electron micrograph of the Hepatitis A virus (HAV), an RNA virus that can survive up to a month at room temperature. (Betty Partin/CDC) An electron micrograph of the Hepatitis A virus (HAV), an RNA virus that can survive up to a month at room temperature. (Betty Partin/CDC)
SPRINGFIELD, MO (CNN/KCTV5) -

As many as 5,000 people may have passed recently through a Missouri restaurant where an employee with hepatitis A worked while possibly contagious, health officials said Wednesday.

Red Robin said the Springfield employee last worked on May 16 and that the restaurant has been deemed safe after an inspection by the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.

The New Jersey-based restaurant chain didn't say in what area of the restaurant the employee worked but told diners who ate there between May 8 and 16 to call the health department for information about what to do next.

"It scared me because my husband has been sick," Andrea Hall, a Red Robin customer, told CNN affiliate KOLR. "And a lot of his symptoms of his matched. A red flag just went off and I was like what do I do from here."

She wants to know if she'll have medical bills and how Red Robin will reimburse her.

Hepatitis A is usually transmitted via contaminated food or water, or by someone who's infected, according to the Mayo Clinic. Frequent handwashing is recommended to limit the spread.

The highly contagious infection inflames the liver, limiting its ability to function.

While mild cases don't require treatment and the Mayo Clinic says most of those infected recover completely with no permanent liver damage, severe cases can lead to liver failure and death, according to the World Health Organization.

Health officials in Springfield said symptoms include fever, nausea, abdominal pain, dark urine and clay-colored bowel movements.

Vaccination center set up

All workers at the Red Robin have since been inoculated with a immune globulin prophylaxis shot, the restaurant chain said.

The health department will run a two-day vaccination clinic at Remington's, a venue that hosts concerts and trade shows. On its Facebook page, the entertainment complex said 4,000 doses of a vaccine were being shipped there from Memphis.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the incubation period for hepatitis A is between 15 and 50 days. The CDC says on its website that immune globulin offers protection for about three months for people who get the shot pre- or post-exposure. But the shot needs to be given within two weeks of exposure for maximum protection.

That's why health officials are trying to move so quickly.

Many people already have been given a two-step vaccine, which was introduced in the United States in 1995. The CDC estimates that 17,000 people contract hepatitis A each year.

CNN affiliate KYTV reported that thousands more customers might have been exposed to the virus because the infected employee worked for Red Robin for several months.

They should watch for symptoms, the station said.

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) and CNN. All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Moving nightmare: Kansas City family says movers stole all their belongings

    Moving nightmare: Kansas City family says movers stole all their belongings

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 10:50 PM EDT2018-05-24 02:50:13 GMT
    It can be a personal hell for many, but your average nightmare moving experience could be worse. Just ask the Keith family. (Submitted)It can be a personal hell for many, but your average nightmare moving experience could be worse. Just ask the Keith family. (Submitted)

    Never has anyone ever said moving is fun. It can be a personal hell for many, but your average nightmare moving experience could be worse. Just ask the Keith family. 

    More >

    Never has anyone ever said moving is fun. It can be a personal hell for many, but your average nightmare moving experience could be worse. Just ask the Keith family. 

    More >
  • 2 suspects charged with robbery that was caught on tape in Kansas City Apple Store

    2 suspects charged with robbery that was caught on tape in Kansas City Apple Store

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 9:39 PM EDT2018-05-24 01:39:49 GMT
    Submitted by Kansas City policeSubmitted by Kansas City police
    Submitted by Kansas City policeSubmitted by Kansas City police
    Charges have been filed against two suspects accused of grabbing thousands of dollars worth of electronics from the Apple Store on The Plaza.  Court records show Timothy O'Neal and DeVarrio O'Neal are suspected of stealing from Apple stores in six Texas cities and Apple stores in Mississippi and Arkansas, taking more than $300,000 worth of merchandise. They have been charged with robbery.  The robbery at the Apple Store's Plaza location was caught on camera and went viral...More >
    Charges have been filed against two suspects accused of grabbing thousands of dollars worth of electronics from the Apple Store on The Plaza.  Court records show Timothy O'Neal and DeVarrio O'Neal are suspected of stealing from Apple stores in six Texas cities and Apple stores in Mississippi and Arkansas, taking more than $300,000 worth of merchandise. They have been charged with robbery.  The robbery at the Apple Store's Plaza location was caught on camera and went viral...More >
  • Standoff in Overland Park ends with man's death

    Standoff in Overland Park ends with man's death

    Wednesday, May 23 2018 11:17 PM EDT2018-05-24 03:17:43 GMT
    (Submitted photo)(Submitted photo)
    (Submitted photo)(Submitted photo)

    The Johnson County Sheriff's Office said the man involved in the standoff Wednesday died from a self-inflicted wound.

    More >

    The Johnson County Sheriff's Office said the man involved in the standoff Wednesday died from a self-inflicted wound.

    More >
Powered by Frankly
KCTV 5 News

Online Public File:
KCTV  KSMO

Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2018, KCTV; Kansas City, MO. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.