Ocala restaurant worker tests positive for hepatitis A

The Florida Department of Health in Marion County has identified a case of hepatitis A in a food service worker in Ocala. Per the department’s epidemiological investigation, the affected individual worked at Zaxby’s, located at 6033 SW Highway 200, while infectious from May 13 to June 2. 

Zaxby’s in Ocala at 6033 SW Highway 200.

The hepatitis A vaccine may provide protection against the disease if given within two weeks after exposure. Therefore, the hepatitis A vaccination is recommended for anyone who has not previously been vaccinated for the virus whom ate or drank at this restaurant between May 22 and June 2.

Those who consumed food or beverage between May 13 and May 21 should be looking for signs and symptoms of hepatitis A infection. This includes sudden onset of abdominal discomfort, dark urine, fever, diarrhea, pale white stools, and yellow skin and eyes (jaundice). Anyone experiencing these symptoms should promptly seek medical attention.

The Department of Health in Marion County is offering free hepatitis A vaccinations to potentially impacted individuals. To get vaccinated, visit the department’s Ocala location, 1801 SE 32nd Ave., from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The best way to prevent hepatitis A infection is through vaccination with the hepatitis A vaccine. It’s also important to practice good hand hygiene, including thoroughly washing hands after using the bathroom, changing diapers, and before preparing or eating food, and to avoid sharing food, drinks, drugs or cigarettes.

For more information on hepatitis A, visit FloridaHealth.gov/HepA, email HepA@flhealth.gov, or call the toll-free Department of Health information line, 1-844-CALL-DOH (844-225-5364) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.