OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – Two employees at a Denny's in Kissimmee have tested positive for hepatitis A and now, the Florida Department of Health is urging anyone who ate at the restaurant to get vaccinated.
The department's Osceola County branch issued a news release Tuesday alerting the public that the two employees at the Denny's at 2051 E. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway in Kissimmee may have been infectious when they were working at the restaurant.
A Denny's spokesperson issued a statement about the incident.
"This past weekend two employees at our Kissimmee, FL restaurant located at 2051 E. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway were diagnosed with hepatitis A. The diagnosis was immediately reported to the Florida Department of Health in Osceola County (FDOH-Osceola). Denny’s immediately closed the restaurant and commenced both a cleaning process and food removal as required by the FDOH. The restaurant was inspected by FDOH-Osceola inspectors and declared safe, and we are providing all Denny’s employees at the location with the hepatitis A vaccine. The FDOH recommends that anyone who has questions or concerns about hepatitis A and their health to contact their county’s health department," the statement read.
Health officials are asking anyone who ate or drank at the location between Oct. 24 and Nov. 1 to get a vaccination. Those who dined between Oct. 14 and Oct. 23 should monitor for symptoms, including abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. Anyone who experiences those symptoms should seek medical attention.
Those who have already received the vaccine or who have had a past history of hepatitis A do not need to take additional action.
Certain people are more at risk for infection than others but anyone can get a vaccine just in case. People at increased risk include:
- All children at age 1 year
- People who are experiencing homelessness
- Users of recreational drugs, whether injected or not
- Men who have sexual encounters with other men
- People with direct contact with others who have hepatitis A
- Travelers to countries where hepatitis A is common
- People with chronic or long-term liver disease, including hepatitis B or hepatitis C
- People with clotting-factor disorders
- Family and caregivers of adoptees from countries where hepatitis A is common
The disease is most commonly transmitted through the fecal-oral route, officials said. Symptoms include:
- Jaundice (yellowing skin and whites of eyes)
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach pain
- Dark-colored urine
- Pale or clay-colored stool
The Florida Department of Health in Osceola County, located at 1875 Fortune Road in Kissimmee, offers hepatitis A vaccines for free or at a low cost at its clinic from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays.