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Thousands May Have Been Exposed to Hepatitis at Springfield Restaurant

KMOX/Associated Press
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CBS St. Louis (con't)

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KMOX/AP) — As many as 5,000 people might have been exposed to Hepatitis A after eating at a Red Robin restaurant in Springfield, where an employee with the highly contagious virus worked.

Officials with the Springfield-Greene County Health Department have set up immunization clinics for people who visited the restaurant, at 3720 S. Glenstone Ave., from May 8 to May 16.

A statement from Red Robin says the employee worked last on May 16, and the restaurant is now safe. They also note the problem was self-reported to health officials, who agreed the restaurant is now safe.

Hepatitis A is a liver disease that can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Hepatitis A is usually spread when a person ingests fecal matter — even in microscopic amounts — from contact with objects, food, or drinks contaminated by an infected person.

Symptoms, which aren’t always produced, include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, dark urine and clay-colored bowel movements.

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