Employee at Western Sizzlin Diagnosed with Hep A -- Vaccines Available for Diners

HAMILTON COUNTY, TN – Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department officials confirmed today that an employee working at the Western Sizzlin Restaurant, located at 6021 Relocation Way, Ooltewah, TN 37363, has been diagnosed with acute hepatitis A. The restaurant employee worked at the restaurant while contagious March 10 – 20, 2019. Persons who ate at this restaurant during these dates should get vaccinated with the hepatitis A vaccine as soon as possible.  

The hepatitis A vaccine is safe, effective, and well tolerated. It is the best protection against the hepatitis A virus. Additional protective measures, such as immune globulin injections, may be recommended for certain people. 

The Health Department will offer free hepatitis A vaccine at the following special clinics:  

Sunday, March 24, 1PM – 6PM:

Health Department (Main Campus), 921 E. 3rd Street, Chattanooga, TN 37403 

Monday, March 25, 8AM – 6PM:

Ooltewah Health Center, 5520 High Street, Ooltewah, TN 37363

Health Department (Main Campus), 921 E. 3rd Street, Chattanooga, TN 37403

 Tuesday, March 26, 8AM – 6PM:

Ooltewah Health Center, 5520 High Street, Ooltewah, TN 37363

Health Department (Main Campus), 921 E. 3rd Street, Chattanooga, TN 37403 

For those who cannot make it to these special clinics, they may come into any Health Department health center during regular hours any day next week.  

Symptoms of hepatitis A are fatigue, decreased appetite, stomach pain, nausea, darkened urine, pale stools, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes). People can become ill 15 to 50 days after being exposed to the virus. Anyone experiencing symptoms should seek medical attention. 

Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department officials have confirmed 129 cases of hepatitis A have been reported in Hamilton County since May 2018. During this time, the Health Department has led an aggressive hepatitis A vaccine campaign, supported by community partners and the Tennessee Department of Health.  Over 5,000 vaccinations have been given so far.  

Hepatitis A usually spreads by the fecal-oral route through ingestion of contaminated food or drinks, close person-to-person contact with an infected person, and recreational drug use, particularly intravenous drugs. The best ways to prevent hepatitis A infection are to get vaccinated and to practice good handwashing to remove germs. 

For more information, visit health.hamiltontn.gov, or call 423-209-8190 during regular hours.