Employee at Spring Hill's Village Pizza Restaurant diagnosed with hepatitis A

A food service worker at Village Pizza Restaurant in Spring Hill has been diagnosed with hepatitis A, according to the Florida Department of Health in Hernando County (DOH-Hernando).

Anyone who ate at the restaurant between May 29 and June 5 may have been exposed, according to DOH-Hernando officials. The restaurant is located at 4070 Deltona Boulevard in Spring Hill.

Health officials said the employee may have been infectious during those dates. Anyone who consumed food or drinks at the restaurant and has not been vaccinated for hepatitis A should consider getting vaccinated, they said. Those who have previously received the hepatitis A vaccine "does not need to take additional action," according to a press release.

DOH-Hernando is offering free vaccinations at the Spring Hill location on June 18 and 19 from 8:30 a.m. until 5:30 a.m. The clinic is located at 7551 Forest Oaks Boulevard.

The vaccine comes in two doses, which are administered six months apart. The hepatitis A vaccine may provide protection against the disease if given within two weeks after exposure. 

Symptoms of hepatitis A include sudden onset of abdominal discomfort, dark urine, fever, diarrhea, pale white stools, and yellow skin and eyes (jaundice). Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention. 

Hernando County officials said they have seen a "significant" increase in hepatitis A cases. This year, there have been a total of 67 cases in the county. Last year, there were six cases. Between 2014 and 2016 there were 2 cases. 

Concerned patrons can call DOH-Hernando at 352-247-6111.