More Hepatitis Cases Linked to McDonald’s

Fast food giant, McDonald’s Corporation, continues to be slammed with allegations of <"">hepatitis A contamination originating from last month’s outbreak. According to the Rock Island County Health Department, said QCTimes, it reported its 18th case of the dangerous virus.

“This individual is a household contact to one of the cases reported the week of July 13,” said Theresa Foes, a health department spokeswoman, quoted QCTimes, who explained that the victim was not immunized against hepatitis A. Last month, over 5,300 people received immunizations at clinics offered by the health department. Reuters said over 10,000 people may have been exposed based on restaurant traffic information.

A total of 32 hepatitis A cases have been confirmed in western Illinois and eastern Iowa and have been linked to this summer’s outbreak associated with the Milan, Illinois’ McDonald’s located at 400 West 1st Street, said QCTimes.

Three lawsuits have been filed against McDonald’s Corporation, to date, and more are expected. Justice News Flash previously pointed out that when patrons fall ill because a restaurant owner fails to maintain “a safe and healthy working environment, as required by state and federal health laws,” those patrons may be entitled to compensation for damages and injuries, including physician visits, hospital stays, medications, and lost income, to name some.

The McDonald’s was closed on July 15 by the Rock Island County Health Department for health official inspection and cleaning, reported the Denver Post previously, and reopened on July 18. A recently completed investigation conducted by the Rock Island County Sheriff’s Department revealed that the Trinity Regional Health System and the Metropolitan Medical Laboratory did not report the cases in a timely manner, as is mandated by law, according to QCTimes, previously

Two McDonald’s food handlers are among those sickened, said Reuters previously. Citing press reports, Reuters said that one of the workers who was ill on June 16, was later diagnosed with hepatitis A. It seems the worker did handle food while she was infectious, said Reuters.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hepatitis A is an acute, contagious liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). The disease is transmitted by the ingestion of fecal matter or contaminated food or drinks or from close person-to-person contact. The ingestion can be, says the CDC, even in microscopic amounts. Such person-to-person contact can occur when, for instance, an infected person does not wash his or her hands properly after going to the bathroom and touches other objects or food, the CDC explained.

Hepatitis A symptoms usually appear anywhere from two-to-six weeks after exposure and develop over a period of several days and can include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, clay-colored bowel movements, joint pain, and jaundice. Hep A, while not chronic, can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months and, while most people recover with no long-lasting liver damage, people can feel sick for months. Hep A can cause liver failure and even death in people over the age of 50 or in those with other liver diseases, such as hepatitis B or C.

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