LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. (CBS46) A fast food employee at a Wendy's location in Gwnnett County may have knowingly worked after being diagnosed with hepatitis A.
The worker was employed at Wendy's restaurant on the 100 block of Scenic Highway and may have spread the virus to customers between the dates of June 13 through June 29.
This comes weeks after a hepatitis scare at a Willy's restaurant in Bartow County.
Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver that can cause loss of appetite, nausea, tiredness, fever, stomach pain, brown-colored urine and light-colored stools. Yellowing of the skin or eyes may also appear. People can become ill up to 50 days after being exposed to the virus.
The Gwinnett County Health Department is advising anyone who may have eaten at the restaurant between those dates to contact them for a free hepatitis A immunization.
"If a food handler or another individual doesn't wash hands and touches surfaces or food or other items that are then consumed ," said Alana Sulka , with the health department, on the spread of Hepatitis A. "It can also be spread through sexual contact."
The health department also says anyone who consumed food and/or drink at the restaurant on the dates that employee worked is also asked to seek a hepatitis A vaccination within 14 days of exposure, if previously unvaccinated.
Patrons who do not receive a vaccination within 14 days of their exposure can still be vaccinated, but the vaccine may not protect them from developing the illness.
Wendy's customer Renaldo Taylor told CBS46 he was concerned to hear about the potential exposure.
"You're not coming in and thinking somebody has Hepatitis A, B, whatever, " he said. "You're just coming in grabbing something to eat."
Meritage Hospitality Group, the franchise organization that operates the Lawrenceville Wendy’s restaurant, released the following statement:
“We take the health and safety of our customers and team members very seriously, and we have stringent procedures in place to ensure safe, sanitary and well-maintained restaurants. We thank the Gwinnett County Health Department for their partnership in this matter. At this time, no additional illnesses have been reported and the restaurant is fully operational after passing an inspection.”