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Second hepatitis A case at Ashland restaurant

On Wednesday, the Ashland-Boyd County Health Department announced that it is investigating another case of hepatitis A at the Texas Roadhouse on Winchester Avenue.

“The investigation found that the risk of restaurant patrons becoming infected is very low and no association with transmission can be confirmed by a connection to Texas Roadhouse,” the health department said in a press release. “Texas Roadhouse is working with us to prevent any new cases from arising in the community as a result of this case.”

Texas Roadhouse said in the press release that the company has superior safety measures in place and increased those once the health department announced the state and Ashland Hepatitis A outbreak.

“This included checking with staff at the beginning of each shift to ensure no employees are working ill, which is how we discovered this employee may be ill,” the company said, adding that all 210 employees were vaccinated after a worker was reported to have hepatitis A in April. “But this employee must have been exposed somewhere in the community at least two weeks before receiving the vaccine.

Texas Roadhouse said all food handlers wear gloves and they are also using a cleaner throughout the restaurant that kills the virus, should it be present.

“We have tested more than 275 guests and all were negative,” the company said. “Kentucky has more than 400 cases and Ashland has 35 plus cases of Hepatitis A. This originated in the homeless community in several states, but has since crossed over and is affecting other community members including two of our employees.”
The company said it has procured vaccinations for more than 3,000 guests that may have been exposed by visiting the restaurant and will continue this effort in hopes of assisting with stopping the spread of this community outbreak.

Texas Roadhouse is encouraging their guests, even if we spoke with you previously, to reach out to their food safety/customer care department at 1-844-617-8241 from 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

To date, there are no confirmed cases of the virus in Lawrence County.

Hepatitis A is a self-limited disease that does not result in chronic infection and symptoms include fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea, and jaundice, that usually resolve within 2 months of infection; most children less than 6 years of age do not have symptoms or have an unrecognized infection.