Mount Airy nursing diners possibly exposed to hepatitis A

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MOUNT AIRY, N.C. — Health officials are warning visitors to the Golden Living Center in Mount Airy that they may have been explosed to hepatitis A.

The Surry County Health and Nutrition Center was notified on Nov. 4 of a possible hepatitis A exposure that occurred at the center at 542 Allred Mill Rd.

An employee was recently diagnosed with hepatitis A and might have been infectious while preparing food. Anyone who may have eaten there on Oct. 22 might have been exposed to hepatitis A.

Those potentially exposed could experience symptoms as early as Nov. 6 and as late as Dec. 11.

Health officials say those who could have been infected — and become ill — should contact their primary care provider and local health department.

The Surry County Health and Nutrition Center is working with the center to provide information and assistance to those who may have been exposed.

Hepatitis A, a liver disease, usually is spread by eating or drinking items that have been contaminated with the virus or by close personal contact with an infected person.

Symptoms appear two to seven weeks after exposure and commonly include fever, a feeling of being unwell, loss of appetite, diarrhea, nausea and abdominal discomfort; urine may become darker in color and jaundice (a yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes) may appear. Most people recover without complications after several weeks. Those who have had a hepatitis A infection in the past, or the hepatitis A vaccine, are protected from the virus. People who have pre-existing liver problems can become extremely ill if they contract hepatitis A.

For more information, please call the Surry County Health and Nutrition Center at (336) 401-8410. For general information see http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/A/index.htm.

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