Should you get the hepatitis A vaccine? Doctors warn to act before Derby

Should you get the hepatitis A vaccine? Doctors warn to act before Derby
(Source: WAVE 3 News)
The vaccine is two doses but the first one is highly effective. A primary care doctor can give the vaccine. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
The vaccine is two doses but the first one is highly effective. A primary care doctor can give the vaccine. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - There has been another confirmation of a Louisville area restaurant employee infected with hepatitis A.

The latest report stems from Applebee's at 4717 Dixie Highway. The announcement of the infection was delivered by the Louisville Metro Health Department on Friday on social media.

Officials said customers who ate at the restaurant between March 23 to April 12 may have been exposed to the virus.

There's currently a hepatitis A outbreak in WAVE Country, which means consumers may want to add the hep A vaccine to Kentucky Derby to-do lists.

At the Bristol in the Highlands, employees were pulling up their sleeves to get a hepatitis A vaccine Friday evening.

"It's something we know patrons and citizens are going to be concerned about, and we want to make sure all of our employees and customers are safe and feel safe whenever they come into the Bristol," TJ Oakley, Vice President of Operations at Bristol, said.

The vaccine will protect them from hepatitis A, which is a highly contagious liver infection that can be transmitted through food preparation.

There's currently an outbreak with 226 cases diagnosed in Louisville.

But what if you don't work in the restaurant industry? Should you get the vaccine too?

Dr. Paul Schulz, an epidemiologist at Norton Healthcare, said if you're a foodie the answer is yes.

MORE ON WAVE3.COM
Southern Indiana health officials vaccinate to stop hep. A outbreak
2 Louisville food service workers diagnosed with hepatitis A
115 cases of Hepatitis A confirmed in Jefferson County

"You could reasonably say to people who are worried or who eat out on a regular basis now would be a good time to get that done as well," Schulz said.

The vaccine is two doses but the first one is highly effective. A primary care doctor can give the vaccine.

Schulz noted that people who are out and about during Derby season tend to eat a lot of food prepared by others. For that reason, among others, now would be a good time to receive the vaccine.

The independent business owners of the Applebee's restaurants in Kentucky, as well as Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Tennessee, will be providing vaccines to its employees free of charge.

The health department said so far 11,000 people have been vaccinated.

The vaccines are being offered to restaurant employees at a reduced rate of $25, instead of the usual $65.

Copyright 2018 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.