Health & Fitness

Idaho’s hepatitis outbreak hits the Frontier Club, Red Robin

ABCs of hepatitis: What’s the difference between A, B, and C?

Hepatitis is a disease characterized by inflammation of the liver. It comes in many forms, including hepatitis A, B and C. But what do those letter designations mean, and how do they differ from one another?
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Hepatitis is a disease characterized by inflammation of the liver. It comes in many forms, including hepatitis A, B and C. But what do those letter designations mean, and how do they differ from one another?

The growing hepatitis A outbreak in Idaho hit two more restaurants in the past month.

Workers at the Frontier Club in Meridian and the Red Robin on ParkCenter Boulevard in Boise were infected with the virus and worked while contagious, public health officials said.

According to the Central District Health Department:

  • The restaurant employee at the Frontier Club, 116 E. Broadway Ave. in Meridian, worked the nights of Aug. 2 and Aug. 3.
  • The restaurant employee at Red Robin, 221 W. ParkCenter Blvd. in Boise, worked various shifts on July 18-22, July 24, July 27-28, July 31-Aug. 5 and Aug. 7.

Earlier this summer, the department issued a notice that a worker at Saint Lawrence Gridiron restaurant in Downtown Boise was infected with hepatitis A while working in June and July.

There have been at least 36 cases of hepatitis A reported in Idaho so far this year. Almost all are in the Treasure Valley.

For updates, visit the CDHD’s hepatitis A webpage: http://www.cdhd.idaho.gov/dac-hepA.

“People who were patrons of these establishments on the days and timeframes listed are encouraged to check their vaccine records to determine if they have received the hepatitis A vaccine,” the health department’s news release said. “Those who are unvaccinated and were potentially exposed can receive protection from hepatitis A if they get immunized within two weeks of the date they were exposed.”

Vaccinations are available at public health departments around the state.

The department said that while there’s a low risk of infection from a food-service worker, diners should still watch for symptoms, which can show up anywhere from 15 to 50 days after exposure.

Symptoms can include fatigue, nausea and vomiting, pain or discomfort in the abdomen or joints, jaundice, dark urine, clay-colored bowel movements, loss of appetite, fever and intense itching, according to the Mayo Clinic.

“Not everyone infected with hepatitis A will experience all of the symptoms and some will not have any symptoms,” the department said.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with a list of symptoms.

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