PALM BEACH GARDENS (CBSMiami) — For second time in one week, a food service worker in West Palm Beach has tested positive for hepatitis A.
This time, the employee worked at Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant on PGA Boulevard.
According to the Florida Department of Health, the employee may have exposed customers between May 1 and May 12.
Health officials recommend that anyone who ate or drank at the restaurant during this time should look out for symptoms of hepatitis A which is a highly contagious disease that attacks the liver.
A person can have hepatitis A for up two weeks without feeling sick but during that time can spread the virus to others. Symptoms usually start two to six weeks after infection and last less than two months.
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Dark urine
- Clay-colored bowel movements
- Joint pain
- Jaundice (yellow skin or eyes)
The Hepatitis A vaccine may provide protection against the disease if given within two weeks after exposure. Therefore, the Hepatitis A vaccination is recommended for anyone who ate or drank at this restaurant between May 9 and May 12.
There are 18 hepatitis A cases in Palm Beach County, 15 in Broward and 15 in Miami-Dade.
A second restaurant worker in West Palm Beach also tested positive for Hepatitis A earlier this week. The employee worked at the Butcher Shop Beer Garden and Grill, located in the 200 block of 6th Street, according to the Florida Department of Health. Officials say the worker may have exposed customers to the virus between April 10 and May 1.
Florida has had 1,220 hepatitis A cases this year, more than double than last year.
The outbreak has hit hardest in the Tampa Bay region and in parts of Central Florida.
The disease, which can cause liver damage, can be spread through such things as food or drinks that have been contaminated with fecal matter from people with the disease.
Health officials have urged people to get vaccinated against the disease.