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Restaurant Patrons Warned of Hepatitis

August 16, 1986|KATHIE BOZANICH | Times Staff Writer

Patrons of a restaurant near the Sports Arena are being warned by county health officials that they may have been exposed to Type A hepatitis and should see a doctor about getting shots to protect them from contracting the disease.

Patrons who ate lettuce or tomatoes at Just Chili, 3750 Sports Arena Blvd., between Aug. 2 and 7 may have been exposed to the disease, said Lyn Wallis, senior health information specialist at county Public Health Services.

The doctor for an employee of the restaurant informed county health officials late Thursday that the worker had Type A hepatitis while handling food at the restaurant.

"The problem is that the employee handled these foods and they remained cold," Wallis said. "If the food had been heated, there wouldn't have been a problem."

Wallis said people who think they have been exposed to the disease should see a doctor as soon as possible because a gamma globulin inoculation is only effective if it is administered within two weeks of exposure.

Initial symptoms of the disease include sudden onset of fever, tiredness, loss of appetite, nausea and abdominal discomfort, Wallis said. These may be followed by jaundice, a yellowish color to the eyes and skin.

"The illness varies from person to person, from very mild to severly ill," Wallis said. "Infectious, or Type A, hepatitis can take anywhere from 15 to 50 days to develop, but it is usually about a month."

Wallis added that the management at Just Chili has been cooperative in the matter, and the employee has not worked at the restaurant since Aug. 7.

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