Officials: Charlotte Papa John's To Blame For Hepatitis Outbreak

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WCNC) -- A Papa John's location in Charlotte is to blame for a local health issue, according to the Mecklenburg County Health Department.

Officials are looking into a Hepatitis A outbreak they say stemmed from the Papa John's location in the 8000 block of Cambridge Commons Drive in Charlotte. This is near Harrisburg Road and I-485.

The incident started with a manager at that restaurant, who recently traveled out of the country.

Anyone who ate food from the location on or between March 24 and April 7 may have been exposed. About 2,400 people could have been sickened by this. Zero cases have been reported thus far, excluding the manager.

According to the CDC, Hepatitis A is a liver disease that results from an infection with the Hepatitis A virus. It is spread by close personal contact or consuming contaminated food or water.

Symptoms are flu-like, and may show up as gastrointestinal issues, dark urine, diarrhea, severe stomach pains and jaundice.

Clinics have been established at the Cabarrus County Health Department and Mecklenburg County Health Department on Beatties Ford Road. They will be open from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Five-thousand vaccines have been ordered and they are free. The vaccine will work within 14 days of exposure.

People who ate food from the location on March 28 and 29 should get the vaccine immediately. Others can be vaccinated at later free clinics that will be announced in the coming days.

If you are already experiencing symptoms of Hepatitis A, you should call your doctor immediately.

Papa John's was open Thursday night and serving food. According to the Health Department and a corporate spokesperson, the restaurant was sanitized from top to bottom Wednesday night. They stated only employees who had either already been tested for Hepatitis A or had not come in contact with the infected manager were allowed to work at this point.


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