Five cases of hepatitis A have been reported in Yakima County in the past two weeks, and the Yakima Health District cautions customers of the Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen restaurant in Yakima that they could have been exposed.
The five cases were reported in people who were experiencing homelessness or using illicit drugs, a news release from the health district said.
Customers who visited Popeye’s at 2406 Nob Hill Blvd. Oct. 23-31 should make sure they have been vaccinated against hepatitis A or get the vaccine as soon as possible, the health district said.
Popeye’s management was informed of the potential exposure on Nov. 6, and has disinfected the entire restaurant to make sure there’s no risk to staff or customers, according to the release.
The company has set up a dedicated phone line at 844-944-5444 to answer questions or concerns from customers. The company said in a news release it is committed to the health and safety of its customers and employees and is working closely with the health department.
Hepatitis A can spread between people via fecal contamination or from close, personal contact. Symptoms take from two to six weeks to develop after infection, and include fever, joint pain, and yellowing skin and eyes. The virus attacks the liver, and anyone with symptoms should contact a doctor immediately.
As of 1996, children are routinely vaccinated for hepatitis A between their first and second birthdays.