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Hep A Vaccine Recommended For Recent Bloomington Buffalo Wild Wings Patrons

buffalo-wild-wings.jpg

(Steve Burns, WFIU/WTIU News)

The Monroe County Health Department is recommending that anyone who ate at the Bloomington Buffalo Wild Wings during a short time last week get a hepatitis A vaccine.

The department says in a statement that a case of hepatitis A has been diagnosed in an employee who handled food at the restaurant. The statement says the employee worked while ill from January 2 to January 6. 

Anyone who ate at the restaurant between those dates should get a vaccination within two weeks. Four vaccination clinics will be held at the Monroe County Public Health Clinic:

  • Friday, Jan. 11: for Buffalo Wild Wings Staff, by appointment only
  • Monday, Jan. 14: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 15: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 16: 8:15 to 11:15 a.m.

Monroe County Health Department Administrator Penny Caudill says the likeliness of the virus spreading depends on a number of variables.

“But in these types of situations, we do an assessment, and we’re always going to try to err on the side of caution,” Caudill says. “We would rather encourage people in this situation to come in.”

Caudill says the most likely way to prevent the spread hepatitis A is to get vaccinated. She also advises staying home and away from others while sick and washing your hands.

Caudill says symptoms of the virus can show anywhere from 15 to 50 days after exposure. Those symptoms include abdominal pain, nausea, fatigue and vomiting.

The statement says the restaurant is working with health officials to prevent any new cases.

Social media reports indicated the restaurant shut down suddenly on Wednesday, with a sign on the door indicating it was closed for a "deep cleaning." 

Caudill says the restaurant has been cleared to reopen by the health department.

The health department has also opened a hotline at 812-349-2997. They advise anyone with questions regarding possible exposure to hepatitis A at the restaurant last week to call.

Indiana is part of a multi-state hepatitis A outbreak. More than 770 Hoosiers have been diagnosed with the highly contagious liver infection in the past year. Two people in Indiana have died from the infection. 

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