DSHS Issues Hepatitis A Warning For Harlingen
The Texas Department of State Health Services is advising anyone who ate at a Harlingen Whataburger restaurant between March 1 and March 12 and a Raymondville Whataburger restaurant between March 13 and March 31 that they may have been exposed to hepatitis A.
An employee who worked at both restaurants has been diagnosed with hepatitis A and may have passed the virus to others. The Harlingen restaurant is located at 1605 W. Harrison St. and the Raymondville location is at 1007 E. Hidalgo Ave. Health officials said people who ate at these restaurants after March 31 are not at increased risk of contracting the virus.
Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver. Symptoms may include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and abdominal discomfort. Jaundice, a yellowing of the skin and eyes, may occur a few days after symptoms appear. Anyone with these symptoms should contact a health care provider right away. The incubation period, or time between exposure and symptoms, is typically 28 days.
Symptoms usually last one to two weeks but can last longer. Young children with hepatitis A often have no symptoms.
Hepatitis A is spread person-to-person through a fecal-oral transmission route and typically occurs when a person eats food or drinks a beverage contaminated by someone with the virus. The virus is not spread by coughing, sneezing or by casual contact. Severe complications from hepatitis A are rare and occur more often in people who have liver disease or a weakened immune system.
Thorough hand washing after visits to the restroom, before touching food or drink and after changing a diaper is the best way to control the spread of hepatitis A.