Will County Nurses to Aid Temporary Kane County Clinic

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The Will County Health Department is helping Kane County staff a temporary free hepatitis A clinic operating in the wake of potential disease exposures at a Geneva restaurant.

Beginning Saturday, the Kane County Health Department began operating a clinic which provides immune globulin to patrons who were served at the Houlihan's Restaurant in Geneva between January 8, and 6 p.m. on January 19. Persons visiting the restaurant during that time period could have been exposed to hepatitis A, a potentially harmful viral disease which attacks the liver.

The potential for exposure exists because a restaurant worker has been diagnosed with hepatitis A. No subsequent cases of illness have been reported, but as many as 4,000 patrons could have been exposed during the 11 days in question.

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The Kane County clinic had provided immune globulin to more than 1,300 restaurant customers through 3 p.m. Tuesday. Immune globulin isn't a vaccine, but can help to reduce any effects from a possible hepatitis A infection.

Kane County officials dispatched a mutual aid request to neighboring counties to help them cope with clinic logistics. Nurses from Will, Cook, DuPage and the Illinois Department of Public Health have assisted. Other neighboring agencies also plan to help with the clinic, which will run until February 2.

Hepatitis A is transmitted by eating food, or drinking water contaminated with fecal matter from an infected person who has not properly washed their hands. Symptoms include nausea, appetite loss, vomiting, fatigue, fever, abdominal pain, dark-colored urine, light or whitish-colored bowel movements and jaundice. Symptoms usually develop about a month after exposure, but can surface from 15 to 50 days following viral contact.

The Kane County Health Department has established a special telephone line for individuals who believe they may have been exposed to hepatitis A as a result of eating at the Geneva Houlihan's. For more information, telephone 630- 444-3300.

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