Ala. Department of Public Health Officials Address Concerns About Hepatitis A Scare at Carter Hill Road Panera Bread

Alabama Department of Public Health officials are addressing any concerns and questions that people have on the Hepatitis  A case at the Panera Bread on Carter Hill Road.

Right now, it is not known just how many people could be impacted by this Hepatitis A scare. However, there are some important things that the public should know while the department of public health continues its investigation.

The Hepatitis A scare at a Montgomery Panera Bread has health officials urging people who have eaten at the restaurant between January 26th and February 5th to get vaccinated or receive immune globulin.

“Vaccines is a very important part of reducing hepatitis a when a person has had exposure,” says Karen Landers, a district officer at the Alabama Department of Health.

The Alabama Department of Public Health is offering free vaccines.  There are also a number of other places where people can get vaccinated.

“Such as local pharmacies some instances private physicians and many health insurance plans do pay for a person to receive vaccines either at their pharmacy or their private physician,” says Landers.

One concern that people have – could the vaccine run out during the scare?

Karen Landers of the Alabama Department of Public Health says, no. Because of the large supply of the vaccine in the U.S.

“Should we need more vaccine to address this single case of Hepatitis a exposure in Montgomery County we have access to obtain that vaccine in a very short time frame,” says Landers.

Landers also wants people to know that chances of the virus being passed to others from a food handler is very low. High chances involve being in extreme contact with an infected person.

“The transmission of Hepatitis A usually what we call the fecal oral route which basically means that a person may go to the restroom and not wash their hands adequately and still have some of the virus on their hands,” says

Beth Carmichael, who ate at the restaurant, is just one of many people who is not taking any chances.  She was vaccinated Monday.

“I’m hoping it’s an isolated incident but you definitely want to take the precaution to take the shot,” says Carmichael.

She is hoping others have the same idea in mind.

“I’m hoping that it’s not going to go any further is people do what they’re being asked to do take the vaccine. That’s my hope,” says Carmichael.

Landers says, right now the department is working to find out how many people could be impacted. She says that information could be released tomorrow.

Health officials say if you are at risk of Hepatitis A, you should get vaccinated within 14-days of exposure to prevent infection.


Categories: Montgomery, News