Two city centre restaurants have sparked hepatitis A outbreak concerns after Public Health England confirmed cases of the faeces-spread disease.
The national health watchdog said they have been informed of three cases of the liver infection among staff ‘associated with Albert’s Shed and Dukes 92’ in Castlefield, Manchester.
Both restaurants, which share the same kitchen, are run by Elle R Leisure Ltd, reports the Manchester Evening News .
Public Health England say they are not aware of any customers being affected, adding that any risk to public health was ‘very low’.
The virus is usually spread by the faeces of an infected person contaminating food or water, or through close contact.
Those who could have been exposed to the virus are now being offered immunisation.
Lucy McCarthy, Operations Director at Elle R Leisure, confirmed three members of ‘Castlefield staff’ are currently off work with the symptoms of hepatitis A.
She added: “The source of the infection is unclear however the first team member to show signs of the condition had just returned from abroad.
“Public Health England have inspected our premises and are completely satisfied with the site and our procedures. We are reassured that Public Health England have deemed the situation as low risk. We’re doing everything we can to help them and the members of the team who have been affected.”
A spokesman from Public Health England’s Greater Manchester Health Protection Team said they are not aware of any customers being affected.
He said the restaurants had cooperated fully with them to resolve the issue.
Those who are at risk from the virus are now being immunised to prevent the spread of infection, he added.
He confirmed the risk to public health has been assessed as ‘very low’.
Dr Caroline Rumble from PHE North West’s Greater Manchester Health Protection team, said: “As a precaution we are offering immunisation to those we have identified as having had close contact with the cases to prevent the spread of infection.”
According to NHS England, Hepatitis A is a ‘liver infection caused by a virus that’s spread in the poo of an infected person’.
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The virus can spread from person to person, but transmission usually requires close contact.
Thorough hand-washing with soap and warm water after going to the toilet and before preparing, serving or eating food is the best defence against Hepatitis A.
Symptoms include nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, fever, tiredness, loss of appetite, jaundice an a ‘general feeling of malaise’ in adults.
It’s uncommon in the UK, but certain groups are at increased risk, including travellers to parts of the world with poor levels of sanitation.
Hepatitis A can be unpleasant, but it’s not usually serious and most people make a full recovery within a couple of months.
Some people, particularly young children, may not have any symptoms.
But hepatitis A can occasionally last for many months and, in rare cases, it can be life-threatening if it causes liver failure.
A hepatitis A vaccine is available for people at a high risk of infection.
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