Health Service Region 1 News DSHS Recommends Shot for Patrons of Hereford Restaurant

Department of State Health Services

October 5 , 2004

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is advising anyone who ate food at or from McDonald's, 1112 W. 1st St. in Hereford after 4 p.m. on either Sept. 20, 22, or 23, that they may have been exposed to hepatitis A and should consider getting an immune globulin shot to prevent the viral illness.

DSHS officials said there is no longer an increased risk of contracting hepatitis A at the restaurant and stressed that no other McDonald's locations are implicated.

Hereford is in Deaf Smith County in the Texas Panhandle. Several cases of hepatitis A have been confirmed in the county in recent weeks. One of those was a McDonald's employee.

Immune globulin can provide temporary immunity to hepatitis A and is most effective if given within two weeks of exposure.

Patrons who have had hepatitis A, received immune globulin in the past three months or received the hepatitis A vaccine do not need the immune globulin shot.

Customers may call the DSHS office in Canyon, 806-655-7151, for information about how and where to get the immune globulin. Patrons also may contact their physicians or local health departments for information.

Hepatitis A symptoms, which normally last a week or two, 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. Young children with hepatitis A often have no symptoms. Anyone with symptoms of hepatitis A infection should contact a physician.

The illness is usually spread person-to-person through a fecal-oral transmission route. It may occur when a person eats food or drinks a beverage contaminated by someone with the virus. The incubation period, or time between exposure and the development of symptoms, is about 30 days but can be as short as 15 days and as long as 50 days.

Health officials say 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.


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Last updated June 7, 2010