Public health officials urge those that may have been exposed seek treatment.
A class-action lawsuit has been filed against an operator of a McDonald’s restaurant in Waterloo, New York, after food and drinks were prepared by a worker at the restaurant that had contracted hepatitis A, according to a foxnews.com report.
The suit filed in Seneca County of the state of New York is on behalf of potentially more than 1,000 customers who dined in the restaurant during the first of November. The case of hepatitis A was confirmed by the Seneca County Health Department on November 13 of this year.
Diners that visited the Waterloo restaurant on the dates of November 2, 3, 5, 6 and 8 are the ones potentially exposed.
Hepatitis A is a virus that causes contagious liver infections. Public health officials are saying the people who ate at the McDonald’s are at a low risk of coming down with the illness, but urged those who had not previously been vaccinated against hepatitis A to consider getting treatments.
Food, drinks and utensils can be contaminated by a person with the illness if they fail to wash their hands after a bathroom visit, something that is required in most restaurants, but it is not easy to verify that employees follow the rule.
The lawsuit was filed against Jascor, Inc., an operator of a McDonald’s, and not the restaurant chain itself. Most McDonald’s are operated by franchisees and not McDonald’s Corporation.
The lawsuit contends that the plaintiff, Christopher Welch, bought and ate food products from the restaurant in question on at least one of the days in which the worker with the hepatitis A infection was working.
A statement on the Seneca County Health Department website says hepatitis A can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe case that can last for months. Many people do not have any symptoms with the illness, but those who do, run the gamut of fever, fatigue, abdominal pain, vomiting and loss of appetite, among others.
The site also adds the vaccine against the illness is effective and safe. Protection from the virus usually begins about 2-4 weeks after the first injection, and a follow-up injection is recommended for long-term protection.