DETROIT (WWJ) – Health officials are alerting the public about a Hepatitis A case involving a Detroit McDonald’s employee.
The affected restaurant is located at 2889 West Grand Boulevard, near the Lodge Freeway, in the city’s New Center area.
The Detroit Health Department says anyone who ate or drank at that McDonald’s location from November 8 to November 22 should be vaccinated before next Wednesday, December 6.
Health officials note, however, that the risk of transmission from an infected food handler is low.
“The Detroit Health Department is working diligently to ensure a comprehensive food safety protocol is being followed at McDonald’s. Our priority is to protect our residents and those of surrounding communities who may have been exposed,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Director and Health Officer of the Detroit Health Department.
McDonald’s has been cooperative with the investigation and has hired a third party company to clean and sanitize the establishment.
“As a long-time neighbor in the Detroit community, I care very deeply for the health and well-being of my employees and customers,” said Errol Service, the restaurant’s owner, in a statement.
“Our employee has been treated by their personal physician and we wish our employee a quick recovery. We appreciate the partnership with the Detroit Health Department, and it is important to note that the department has determined that there are no further concerns to public safety in this situation and it is safe for the public and employees to eat and work at this McDonald’s restaurant.”
Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that results from infection with the Hepatitis A virus. It can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months. Symptoms can include fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal, and sometimes yellow eyes or skin and dark urine. A person can get Hepatitis A when they eat, drink, or touch their mouth with food, liquid or objects (including their hands) that have come into contact with stool from an infected person. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention immediately.
Both employees stopped working once the diagnosis was confirmed, and can’t return to work until they are cleared by a doctor.
According to a press release, the Detroit Health Department is conducting a thorough investigation of both establishments to ensure appropriate food handling and cleaning protocols are being followed.
Those who ate at Firewater Bar and Grill between Oct. 15-24 or consumed food from the Little Caesars location on Fenkell between Oct. 15-26 should consult their primary care provider to receive the Hepatitis A vaccine as
The Detroit Health Department will be offering free Hepatitis A vaccines to uninsured Detroit residents at both of its Immunization Clinics: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Wednesday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The clinics are located at:
The Samaritan Center (5555 Conner Street Detroit, MI 48213, 313-410-8142
The Family Place (8726 Woodward Avenue Detroit, MI 48202, 313-410-7803
Health officials recommend that uninsured non-Detroit residents who ate or drank at the affected McDonald’s during the exposure period to contact their local health department for assistance. (Macomb County 586-469-5372; Oakland County 800-848-5533; and Wayne County 734-727-7100).
Southeast Michigan has seen an increase in Hepatitis A cases since 2016. High risk individuals identified in association with this outbreak include persons who: share injection and non-injection street drugs (including pain killers), have sexual activities with someone who has Hepatitis A, have close contact, care for, or live with someone who has Hepatitis A, are homeless or have transient living situations, or are men who have sex with men.
The best way to prevent Hepatitis A is through vaccination. Other means of preventing the spread of infection is to thoroughly wash hands with soap and water: after using the bathroom, after diaper changes, and before handling food.
For more information on Hepatitis A, visit michigan.gov/hepatitis.