Parke County health officials investigate Hepatitis A case linked to Covered Bridge Festival food vendor

Health officials in Parke County are investigating a Hepatitis A case linked to the Covered Bridge Festival.

Posted: Nov 5, 2019 3:34 PM
Updated: Nov 5, 2019 5:46 PM

PARKE COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - Health officials in Parke County are investigating a Hepatitis A case linked to the Covered Bridge Festival.

The case is tied to a food worker at Deno's Concession food truck in Bridgeton.

The Parke County Health Department says the truck was only there from October 16 through October 20.

The health department told News 10 Deno's was located near the mill and bridge and they served different fried food. The food truck is based out of Knox County. 

Health officials say the risk for people becoming infected with Hep A from visiting the food truck is very low.

If you think you are having symptoms related to Hepatitis A, you should contact your doctor right away.

See the full release below:

"Parke County health officials have investigated a case of hepatitis A in a food worker and have determined that the risk of infection is very low for patrons who visited Deno’s Concession food truck at the Parke County Covered Bridge Festival in Bridgeton.
Although additional cases are unlikely to occur, the food truck operator is working with us to prevent any new cases from arising in the community as a result of this case. The food truck was only in operation at the Parke County Covered Bridge Festival from Oct. 16-20, and an initial assessment did not find any critical health violations.

Indiana is one of several states experiencing a hepatitis A outbreak, so all residents are urged to consult their healthcare providers and pharmacies for hepatitis A vaccine as preventive care. Careful handwashing with soap and running water is also recommended, especially before preparing food.

As of Nov. 1, the state health department has confirmed 2,202 outbreak-related cases in Indiana, which typically sees about 20 cases in a 12-month period. None of the outbreak cases has been caused by an infected food worker.
Indiana law has required a hepatitis A vaccine for school admission since 2014, and the vaccine was required for students entering sixth and 12th grades in 2018, so many students have already been vaccinated.

Hepatitis A is usually transmitted person-to-person through fecal-oral routes or by consuming contaminated food or water. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identifies those most at risk during this outbreak as people who use illicit drugs, the homeless, men who have sex with men and those who are incarcerated.

Indiana health officials have been working to educate the public, restaurants, jails, groups that serve homeless populations and those who use illicit drugs about the outbreak and ways to prevent the disease. ISDH also provides outbreak updates on its website. https://www.in.gov/isdh/27791.htm

Anyone who is exhibiting symptoms of hepatitis A should contact a healthcare provider immediately and refrain from preparing food for others. Symptoms can include fatigue, loss of appetite, stomach pain, nausea, and jaundice, which usually appear within two months of infection. Individuals can become ill 15 to 50 days after being exposed to the virus. A doctor can determine if someone has hepatitis A with a blood test."

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