Hep. A exposure linked to Charlotte Papa John's

Hep. A exposure linked to Charlotte Papa John's

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by DIANNE GALLAGHER/ NBC Charlotte

WCNC.com

Posted on April 10, 2014 at 6:02 PM

Updated Saturday, Apr 12 at 10:18 AM

Hepatitis A outbreak at local Papa John's

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A local Papa John’s location is to blame for a local health issue, according to the Mecklenburg County Health Department.

Officials are looking into a Hepatitis A outbreak they say stemmed from the Papa John’s location in the 8000 block of Cambridge Commons Drive in Charlotte. This is near Harrisburg Road and I-485.

The incident started with a manager at that restaurant, who recently traveled out of the country.

Anyone who ate food from the location on or between March 24 and April 7 may have been exposed. About 2,400 people could have been sickened by this. Zero cases have been reported thus far, excluding the manager.

According to the CDC, Hepatitis A is a liver disease that results from an infection with the Hepatitis A virus. It is spread by close personal contact or consuming contaminated food or water.

Questions? Call Papa John's hotline: 1-855-397-7777 

Symptoms are flu-like, and may show up as gastrointestinal issues, dark urine, diarrhea, severe stomach pains and jaundice.

Clinics have been established at the Cabarrus County Health Department and Mecklenburg County Health Department on Beatties Ford Road. They will be open from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Additionally, clinics will be available on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. at Central Piedmont Community College Cato Campus. The clinic will be held in the Cato 2 Building. Five-thousand vaccines have been ordered and they are free. The vaccine will work within 14 days of exposure.

People who ate food from the location on March 28 and 29 should get the vaccine immediately. Others can be vaccinated at later free clinics that will be announced in the coming days. 

If you are already experiencing symptoms of Hepatitis A, you should call your doctor immediately.  

Papa John's was open Thursday night and serving food.  According to the Health Department and a corporate spokesperson, the restaurant was sanitized from top to bottom Wednesday night.  They stated only employees who had either already been tested for Hepatitis A or had not come in contact with the infected manager were allowed to work at this point. 

Papa John's has created a hotline specifically for customers to ask questions or log complaints against the Cambridge Commons Drive location.  The number is 855-397-7777. 

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