JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL)- The Tennessee Department of Health has confirmed with News Channel 11 they are investigating a case of acute hepatitis A in an employee at the McDonald’s restaurant on West Market Street.
Health department officials said those customers who visited the restaurant between 12 p.m. and 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, July 24 may have been exposed to the illness.
“So we estimate, during the afternoon about 500 people potentially could have eaten there,” said Dr. David Kirschke with the Tennessee Department of Health.
There will be a Hepatitis A vaccination event at the clinic located at 219 Princeton Road on Wednesday, July 31 and Thursday, August 1 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
As of Wednesday at 4 p.m., health department officials said they have administered 287 Hepatitis A vaccines.
People who think they might have been affected are encouraged to show up to the clinic on Wednesday and Thursday, but if they cannot make it either day, an appointment can be made by calling (423) 975-2200.
Anyone with questions can call the Northeast Regional Health Office’s hotline at (423) 979-4689.
Health officials said in the release, “Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that results from infection with the hepatitis A virus. Symptoms can range from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months. Hepatitis A can be spread when a person ingests fecal matter, even in very small amounts. People who have been exposed to hepatitis A can reduce their risk of illness by receiving hepatitis A vaccination within two weeks of exposure.”
Stay with News Channel 11 as we continue to follow this developing story.
UPDATE: The owner/operator of the McDonald’s on West Market Street says his restaurant is committed to providing a safe and clean environment. This comes after the department of health confirmed that an employee tested positive for hepatitis A.
“We are committed to providing a clean and safe environment for all who visit our restaurant. We are working with the Northeast Tennessee Health Department to ensure the continued well-being for both our guests and crew.”-Jim Davis, McDonald’s Owner/Operator