Gwinnett restaurant possible exposure to hepatitis A: health officials

LAWRENCEVILLE — Gwinnett County health officials are issuing a warning to patrons of a Buford Avenue restaurant after a server was diagnosed with hepatitis A.

On Wednesday, the Gwinnett County Health Department said customers who visited Lolita’s Bar and Grill between Oct. 24 and Nov. 7 may have been exposed to the virus after a waiter diagnosed it.


“Hepatitis A spreads when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food, or drinks contaminated with small, undetected feces from an infected person. If a person infected with hepatitis A works in a restaurant Hepatitis A can be spread when people do not wash their hands thoroughly after eating and using the restroom,” health officials said in a news release.

They encourage customers to contact their healthcare provider or local health department to find out if they need the hepatitis A vaccine to prevent illness. Health officials say there will be no out-of-pocket cost for people who get vaccinated at the health department.

Health officials say hepatitis A can cause loss of appetite, nausea, tiredness, fever, stomach pain, brown urine, light-colored stools and yellowing of the skin or eyes.

Symptoms usually begin two to seven weeks after exposure and usually last less than two months; however, health officials say infection may last up to six months.

Health officials say some people with severe hepatitis A symptoms have required hospitalization.

According to the health department, anyone who has consumed food or drink at Lolita’s during the designated hours should:

  1. If you have not received the hepatitis A vaccine before or have been infected with hepatitis A, seek hepatitis A vaccination within 14 days of exposure. If you have been vaccinated or have been previously infected with hepatitis A, you are considered immune and do not need to be vaccinated.
  2. Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and warm water, especially after using the bathroom and before preparing food.
  3. Monitor your health for symptoms of hepatitis A infection for 50 days after exposure.

“The restaurant has been cooperating with the health department’s investigation and has taken proactive measures, including arranging immunizations for vulnerable employees and thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing the restaurant,” health officials said in the release. Hepatitis A prevention measures are also being provided. Communicating education.”

Anyone with questions can call the Gwinnett County Health Department at (770) 339-4260. Callers are asked to press zero and asked to speak to an epidemiologist on duty. You can also contact the epidemiologist after hours at (404) 323-1910 or (866)-782-4584.

Patch is working to obtain comment from the restaurant.

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