Red Robin Customers Exposed to Hepatitis A

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JEFFERSON CITY - The Cole County Health Department is encouraging people who ate at a Springfield restaurant to obtain a free Hepatitis A vaccine. A Red Robin worker tested positive for Hepatitis A prompting a call-to-action for people who ate at the restaurant located at on South Glenstone Avenue from May 8 to May 16.

Restaurant-goers have 14 days after exposure to the virus to get a vaccine to ensure effectiveness.

Immunization Coordinator for the Cole County Health Department, Jessi Kempker, said it can take up to 30 days for a person to see symptoms. She says getting the vaccine as a precaution is the best option for people.  

"It's a good idea to get the vaccine if you eat food, if you eat out, if you don't grow your own food, because you never know when you can come into contact," Kempker said.

Hepatitis A is a contagious liver infection that can be transferred through food or water contamination and contact with an affected person.

Kempker says people can ensure immunity from the virus by being proactive and receiving the Hepatitis A vaccine before exposure.

"The Hepatitis A vaccine is a very good vaccine because the efficacy is very high. So if they've only had one dose, be it the child or an adult, you do want to get your second dose," Kempker said. 

The vaccination is distributed in two doses, the second guaranteeing 100 percent immunity from the disease. After the second vaccine, patients are immune for life. 

Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain, fatigue and dark urine.

The Springfield-Greene County and Boone County Health Departments are also offering free vaccinations for Red Robin customers who ate at the restaurant in connection to this case.

Springfield Missouri hosted it's graduation ceremony Friday, May 16.

Boone County does not have an ordinances that requires food establishment employees to obtain a Hepitis A vaccine.