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Ashland sees 7th case of hepatitis A

ASHLAND — A seventh case of a food worker with hepatitis A has been reported in Boyd County.

This time, the employee worked at McDonald’s at 2550 Winchester Ave. in Ashland, Kentucky.

The Ashland-Boyd County Health Department made their diagnosis of the employee on Wednesday and the investigation found that the risk of restaurant patrons becoming infected is very low.

McDonald’s is working with the health department to prevent any new cases from arising in the community as a result of this case.

All employees, including the diagnosed case, received the hepatitis A vaccine prior to the Wednesday diagnosis.

The McDonald’s chain previously established a required hepatitis A vaccination policy for all workers.

The Winchester Avenue McDonald’s voluntarily closed after notification of the confirmed case to complete extensive disinfection of the facility.

This is the seventh case of hepatitis A at a restaurant in Boyd County in recent months. The other locations included Waffle House, two at Texas Roadhouse, Ken’s Express Mart, Dairy Queen and RJ Kahuna’s. All the restaurants closed temporarily to clean and workers were vaccinated before reopening.

Kentucky has 629 cases and Ashland has 35 plus cases of Hepatitis A.

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.