State health officials: 2 cases of hepatitis A at Mississippi restaurant; customers may have been exposed

Published 5:12 pm Tuesday, April 6, 2021

The Mississippi State Department of Health is investigating two cases of hepatitis A at a Mississippi restaurant which may have led to possible exposure for customers.

Two employees of Brady’s Steaks and Seafood, 3801 Magnolia St. in Pascagoula have been diagnosed with hepatitis A infection, and worked at the restaurant while potentially infectious.

MSDH officials say customers who ate at the restaurant between March 1 and April 3, 2021, may have been exposed to hepatitis A.

“At this time, there is no indication of an ongoing risk associated with the restaurant,” a news release from the department said. “All individuals who ate at the restaurant between March 1 and April 3 should watch for any possible symptoms of hepatitis A and see their doctor if they become ill.”

MSDH officials recommend that individuals who ate at the restaurant within the last two weeks should get a hepatitis A vaccination if not previously vaccinated. Vaccination can prevent hepatitis A only if given within 14 days of exposure.

Those who may have eaten at the restaurant within the last two weeks can receive a hepatitis A vaccination free of charge from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 8th at the Jackson County Health Department, 46000 Lt. Eugene J. Majure Drive, in Pascagoula.

“The risk of transmission of hepatitis A in this situation is likely very low. However, as a precaution, we recommend that anyone who ate food from this restaurant within the last two weeks should consider getting a hepatitis A vaccination if they have not done so already. All individuals who may have been exposed between March 1 and April 3 should watch for any possible symptoms of hepatitis A and see their doctor if they become ill,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers.

“The management and staff of Brady’s are fully cooperating with MSDH to prevent illnesses as a result of this exposure,” said Byers.

Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that causes fever, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes), abdominal pain and dark colored urine. Hepatitis A usually spreads when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food or drinks contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool (feces) from an infected person. If you think you have symptoms of hepatitis A, you should contact your healthcare provider.

Everyone can prevent the spread of hepatitis A by carefully washing hands with soap and water, including under the fingernails, after using the bathroom or changing diapers, and before preparing or eating food.