Joplin health officials confirm case of hepatitis A in midst of Missouri “outbreak”

State Reportedhepatitisaoutbreakcases

(IMAGE) CDC: State-reported Hepatitis A Outbreak Cases as of February 22, 2020

JOPLIN, Mo. – According to the CDC, as of February 22, 2020, the state of Missouri has reported 655 cases of hepatitis A. The agency’s website states 18 of those were in Joplin.

KOAM is speaking with the Joplin Health Department today about the outbreak and will have more on KOAM News this evening.

The health department did confirmed with KOAM that an employee of Chili’s was diagnosed with hep-A. It’s unsure if this was one of the 18 cases already reported.

KOAM reached out to Chili’s parent company, which sent us the following statement:

“With multiple cases of hepatitis A in the Joplin community, the health and safety of our Guests and Team Members continues to be our priority. After learning one of our Team Members was affected, we immediately excluded this individual from work and partnered with the Joplin Department of Health to prevent the potential spread by proactively offering vaccinations to all of our Team Members. While there have been no infections linked to Chili’s, we will continue to maintain our strict standards of cleanliness to ensure we are operating a clean and safe restaurant for the wellbeing of our Guests and Team Members.”

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Kansas and Oklahoma are not on the latest outbreak map provided by the CDC.

According to the CDC, “Most people who get hepatitis A feel sick for several weeks, but they usually recover completely and do not have lasting liver damage. In rare cases, hepatitis A can cause liver failure and death; this is more common in people older than 50 and in people with other liver diseases.”