OCALA, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - Hepatitis A cases are on the rise across central Florida. One of the most recent cases happened at the Charlie Horse restaurant in Ocala.
“You see it all over,” Charlie Horse Restaurant and Lounge ower Guy Iannone said. “I’m pretty sure there are a lot of Hepatitis A positive people around you and you don’t even know it.”
Hepatitis a is a public health emergency across Florida. Guy Iannone owns the Charlie Horse restaurant in Ocala. One of his workers tested positive for hepatits a
“We had no control over this situation,” Innone said. “He came in with Hepatitis A. We knew nothing about it him having it and now we’re suffering the consequences. The state needs to mandate something.”
If you’ve eaten at the restaurant between July 24 and August 1st.. The Marion County Health Department recommends you get vaccinated.
Hep A is a highly contagious disease that affects the liver, this is the second restaurant in the county to have a case of the disease in the last two months. A worker at the Zaxby's in Ocala also tested positive in June.
“We’ve actually seen 111 cases in Marion County just since January 1st this year,” Marion County Health Department Public Information Officer Christy Jergens said. “We’re number six overall in the state for the number of Hepatitis A cases.”
More than 2,000 cases of Hepatitis A have been reported across the state. This prompted the surgeon general to declare it a public health emergency across Florida.
The best way to keep yourself from getting Hep A is by getting the vaccine. Iannone said that’s something customers and restaurant owners should ask about.
“You might want to ask your employees to get a Hep A vaccine,” Iannone said. “They’re free at the health clinic. It would be very smart. Very proactive.”
If you need a Hepatitis A vaccine you can get a free one at the Marion County Health Department.