NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) — Hepatitis A has been confirmed in an employee of the Niagara Falls Taco Bell.
The disease is a highly contagious liver infection caused by a virus.
An investigation of the disease was launched on Tuesday, right after the Niagara County Department of Health was notified of the suspected case.
It’s not clear what the employee’s role was, but the Department of Health says they handled food at the restaurant on Niagara Falls Boulevard.
The employee has since been sent home. Other employees will be offered post exposure prophylaxis (PEP).
The restaurant itself will be subject to additional inspections in the coming weeks, and is currently complying with Department of Health recommendations.
Taco Bell released a statement on the matter:
“When our franchisee of this Niagara Falls, NY restaurant learned that one of the team members was diagnosed, they immediately started working in lock step with Taco Bell and health officials to protect the health of employees and customers. The restaurant was thoroughly sanitized and all team members will be offered vaccinations.”Taco Bell
Anyone who ate food from or used the restroom at the restaurant between November 21 and December 1 can get a free Hepatitis A vaccine from the Department of Health.
The vaccines will be given at the Doris W. Jones Family Resource Building at 3001 Ninth St. in Niagara Falls on Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Pre-registration for the vaccine can be completed here.
Those who ate at the restaurant between Nov. 13-20 may have been exposed, but would not benefit from a vaccine. They are encouraged to monitor themselves for the following symptoms:
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Dark urine
- Clay-colored stools
- Joint pain
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
Sometimes, no symptoms are shown at all. Although most people recover from the disease in a few weeks without complications, Hepatitis A can be fatal.
More information on it can be found here.