County health department warns of possible hepatitis exposure from local KFC restaurant

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The Genesee County Health Department in conjunction with the Saginaw County Health Department has confirmed a case of hepatitis A in a foodservice worker who was employed at both the Kentucky Fried Chicken located at 6021 Dort Hwy in Grand Blanc Township and 9230 Birch Run Road in Birch Run, Michigan. Both facilities are cooperating with the local health departments during this investigation.

Anyone who consumed food or drink from the Birch Run KFC between November 14-16, 2019, or the Grand Blanc KFC from November 20-26, 2019, may have been exposed to hepatitis A. The Genesee County Health Department and Saginaw County Health Department recommend anyone who visited KFC in Grand Blanc or Birch Run during these dates and has not been vaccinated for hepatitis A or has a sudden onset of any symptoms of Hepatitis A should contact their 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 any hepatitis A 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.

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 3rd from 4-7:00 pm and Thursday December 5th from 8-11:00`am and 1-3:30 pm.

Regular clinic hours for hepatitis A vaccinations at the Genesee County Health Department Burton Branch are as follows: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday: 8:00 – 11:00 am and 1:00 – 4:00 pm Tuesday: 1:00 – 4:00 pm and Thursday evening 4:00-6:00 pm by appointment.

This week, the Saginaw County Health Department will hold immunization clinics at 1600 N. Michigan Avenue, Saginaw, by appointment as follows: Tuesday: 1:30 – 4:00 pm Wednesday: 9:00 – 11:30 am & 1:30 – 4:00 pm Thursday: 1:15 – 4:00 pm Friday: 8:30 – 11:00 am & 1:30 – 4:00 pm People can call the Saginaw County Health Department at (989) 758-3840 to make an appointment.

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

Hepatitis A is an infection of the liver caused by a virus. The virus is shed in feces and is 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 hepatitis 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.

For more information about hepatitis A, visit www.gchd.us or www.saginawpublichealth.org. The Genesee County Health Department Hepatitis A Telephone Hotline number is (810) 257-3048.

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