LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — The Tippecanoe County Health Department has diagnosed a case of hepatitis A in an employee who handled food at the Lafayette Arni’s at Market Square. According to a news release, an investigation found the employee worked while ill on Sep. 13 and 14, prior to diagnosis.
The health department said it is rare for a restaurant patron to become infected with hepatitis A virus due to an infected food handler. However, they said anyone who consumed food or drink at the restaurant during these dates is recommended to receive a hepatitis A vaccination within 14 days of exposure.
Arni’s is working closely with health officials to prevent any new cases from arising as a result of this case, and the restaurant is open for business. and thorough disinfection of the restaurant has been conducted.
A free vaccination clinic is scheduled at the Tippecanoe County Health Department for those with potential exposure to hepatitis A on the specified dates. The clinics are "walk-in" and there is no need to call for appointments.
Tippecanoe County Health Department
629 N. 6th St., Ste. A, Lafayette, IN
Hep A Hotline: (765) 423-9798
• 8:00 AM-12:00 PM and 1:00-4:00 PM on Monday, September 23rd
• 8:00 AM-12:00 PM and 1:00-7:00 PM on Tuesday, September 24th
Anyone unable to attend these dates should contact their personal medical provider as the vaccine must be administered within two weeks of the last day of the exposure.
The Tippecanoe County Health Department also states anyone who consumed food and drink at Arni’s Market Square during the dates are also asked to:
- Monitor their health for symptoms of hepatitis A infection up to 50 days after exposure.
- Wash their hands with soap and warm water frequently and thoroughly, especially after using the bathroom and before preparing food.
- Stay at home and contact their healthcare provider immediately if symptoms of hepatitis A infection develop.
- Careful hand washing, including under the fingernails, with soap and water, along with vaccination of anyone at risk of infection, will help prevent the spread of this disease.
Owner Brad Cohen said they're doing everything they can to keep their customers safe.
"Just an over emphasis that we're doing everything that is expected and beyond, to assure that what we've been doing for 54 years and building confidence in our community and this restaurant, and this restaurant company, is being done," said Cohen.