Mecklenburg County health officials vaccinated more than 2,000 people for hepatitis A after an employee at a fast food restaurant was diagnosed with the liver infection.
The county health department initiated a two-week vaccination campaign last month to help protect people who ate at the Hardee’s on Little Rock Road between June 13 and June 23. According to the county, 2,056 people were vaccinated since the campaign started at the end of June.
Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection caused by a virus spread from person to person. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people who have hepatitis A can have a mild illness lasting a few weeks or a more severe case lasting several months. In rare cases, the infection can cause liver failure and death, the CDC says.
The Mecklenburg County health department will provide a second round of shots for those who were already vaccinated to complete the process.
The county said there has been 10 diagnosed hepatitis A cases since April, exceeding Mecklenburg’s annual average.
Cases of the liver disease have been on the rise in the United States since 2012. There were 1,200 reported cases last year, and hepatitis A outbreaks have occurred in six other states: California, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Utah and West Virginia, according to the CDC.
To learn more about hepatitis A, including the symptoms and ways to prevent it, visit the CDC's questions-and-answers page on hepatitis A.