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FileAn investigation found an employee with hepatitis A handled food at Vittles in Smyrna on Wednesday, Oct. 2

Anybody who ate at Vittles in Smyrna on Wednesday, Oct. 2 is advised to contact their healthcare provider to see if a hepatitis A vaccine is needed.

An investigation found an employee with the illness handled food on that date, according to the Cobb and Douglas Department of Public Health.

Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver that can cause loss of appetite, nausea, tiredness, fever, stomach pain, dark-colored urine and light-colored stools. Yellowing of the eyes or skin may also appear, and people can become ill up to 50 days after being exposed the virus.

Hepatitis A is usually a short-term infection and does not become chronic, whereas hepatitis B and hepatitis C can result in chronic disease and long-term liver problems, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC says most people who get hepatitis A get sick for several weeks but typically recover completely and do not have lasting liver damage. In rare cases, hepatitis A can cause liver failure and death. This is more common in those over 50 or those who have other liver diseases.

Hepatitis A vaccines are available at Cobb and Douglas Public Health clinics weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with no out-of-pocket charge, though patients are asked to bring their insurance card if available.

Most healthcare facilities and pharmacies carry hepatitis A vaccines, but patients are advised to call ahead to make sure, the health department said.

Those who ate at Vittles on Oct. 2 are also advised to monitor their health for symptoms of hepatitis A; wash their hands with soap and water frequently and thoroughly, especially after using the restroom or before preparing food and stay at home and call a doctor immediately if hepatitis A symptoms develop.

Vittles, a popular Smyrna hangout, recently reopened under new ownership after being shut down for over a year after the original owner's retirement.

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