LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Arkansas Department of Health announced that an employee of the Wendy’s in Russellville tested positive for Hepatitis A, a contagious liver disease.

According to the ADH, anyone who ate at the Wendy’s at 721 North Arkansas, Russellville between Dec. 12 and Jan. 3 should seek immediate care if they’ve never been vaccinated against Hepatitis A or are unsure of their vaccination status.

Hepatitis A can be prevented through vaccination or a medicine called immune globulin, ADH officials said. Both vaccination and immune globulin should be given within two weeks of exposure to the virus.

The infection is typically spread when someone ingests fecal matter after contact with objects, food or drinks contaminated by the feces of an infected person, the ADH reported.

The ADH warned customers of this facility to be aware of the common symptoms of Hepatitis A, which include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, dark urine, clay-colored bowel movements, joint pain and yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice).

“Hep A continues to be an issue in our state,” Dr. Jennifer Dillaha, ADH Chief Medical Officer, said. “We are encouraging everyone to be aware of the risk factors for getting Hep A. If you are engaged in any of these behaviors, please get vaccinated. If you experience symptoms, visit your healthcare provider right away.”

Hepatitis A typically causes symptoms and illness anywhere from two to seven weeks after exposure, ADH officials report. Most people experience symptoms three to four weeks after exposure, but some people, especially children, may be asymptomatic.

The ADH is urging people who think they could have been exposed to call their local pharmacy and see about getting the vaccination. Vaccination is also available at the Pope County Local Health Unit. Call 479-968-6004 to schedule an appointment.