The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) is investigating a case of hepatitis A in a food service worker that could have led to possible exposure for restaurant customers.

An employee of Dixie Depot Courtyard Lane deli, 6241 Highway 613 in Lucedale (Agricola area), who handles food has been diagnosed with hepatitis A infection, and patrons who ate food from this facility during the following dates and times may have been exposed to hepatitis A:

  • August 19-21 from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • August 23-24 from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • August 26-31 from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.

“While the risk of transmission is likely low, the management and staff of Dixie Depot are cooperating with us to prevent new illnesses as a result of this exposure,” said MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers. “We recommend that anyone who ate at this restaurant during these times should consider getting a hepatitis A vaccination if they have not been previously immunized.”

Those who think they may have been exposed to this case can receive a hepatitis A vaccination free of charge Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week (September 11-13) at the George County Health Department, 166 West Ratliff Street in Lucedale.

Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that causes fever, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes) and abdominal pain and dark colored urine. Hepatitis A usually spreads when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food, or drinks contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool (feces) from an infected person. If you think you have symptoms of hepatitis A, you should contact your healthcare provider.

Everyone can prevent the spread of hepatitis A by carefully washing hands with soap and water, including under the fingernails, after using the bathroom or changing diapers and before preparing or eating food.

As a reminder, there is an ongoing hepatitis A outbreak in Mississippi and surrounding states affecting those who use drugs, those who are in jail or were recently in jail, those with unstable housing or who are homeless, and men who have sex with men. The MSDH continues to recommend hepatitis A vaccination for those specific groups as well.