A North Carolina class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of hundreds of patrons at an Olive Gardens restaurant who have been urged to receive vaccinations for hepatitis A after a food server there was diagnosed with the infectious disease of the liver.
The hepatitis A class action lawsuit was filed in Cumberland County, North Carlina on August 18, seeking to represent any individuals who ate at the Olive Gardens restaurant while the infected worker was on duty and then received an immune globulin shot or hepatitis A vaccine. Hundreds of people flooded the county health clinic in the days following the possible exposure.
Local health officials warned earlier this month that anyone who ate at the Olive Garden on July 25, 26, 28, 29, 31 and August 1, 2 and 8 may have been exposed to potential hepatitis A infection and should be tested or immunized.
The employee reportedly alerted the restaurant when tests came back positive for infection. The restaurant then alerted health officials, and the server will not be allowed to return until he or she tests clear from the infection.
The restaurant serves about 800 people a day, meaning that as many as 6,400 people could have been exposed and could be represented by the lawsuit.
Hepatitis A can take as long as 20 days before symptoms appear after exposure. Getting a vaccination between the exposure and the appearance of the symptoms can help avoid a full-blown infection.
There have been no reports of cases of new Hepatitis A infections stemming from the incident. Symptoms can start to appear as early as two weeks after infection. Early symptoms can include:
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of Appetite
- Muscle Aches