Another Possible Hepatitis A Outbreak In Northeast Arkansas, This Time At Murdock’s Catfish In Jonesboro

JONESBORO (THV11) — The Arkansas Department of Health is warning of yet another possible Hepatitis A outbreak in northeastern Arkansas.

This time, the possible outbreak is centered around Murdock’s Catfish. The Health Department warned of possible exposure to the contagious liver disease after an employee at the Jonesboro restaurant tested positive for the virus. Murdock’s Catfish is located on Red Wolf Boulevard.

The Health Department said that anyone who ate at the restaurant from Sept. 27 to Oct. 5 should be vaccinated immediately, assuming they’ve never been vaccinated or are unsure of their vaccination status.

“This restaurant worked proactively with the ADH by requiring vaccination for all of their employees with complete compliance prior to this potential exposure,” said Dr. Dirk Haselow, State Epidemiologist. “ADH is not aware of any ongoing risk in this restaurant at this time.”

The Craighead County Local Health Unit on East Washington Street in Jonesboro will provide vaccines from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday (Oct. 11). Vaccines will also be available at the Earl Bell Community Center on South Church Street in Jonesboro from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday (Oct. 12). The vaccines are available to the public at no cost, but those wanting a vaccination should bring their insurance card and a driver’s license, if they have them.

Those with symptoms should seek immediate medical care. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, clay-colored bowel movements, joint pain or jaundice, which is a yellowing of the skin or eyes. The illness can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months.

Since February, there have been 158 cases of hep A reported in Northeast Arkansas, mainly in Greene County. However, cases have also been reported in Clay, Craighead, Independence, Lawrence, Lee, Mississippi, Monroe, Phillips, Poinsett, Arkansas and Randolph counties.

More information on hepatitis A and updates on the outbreak are available from the Arkansas Department of Health by clicking here.

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