by: Jenna Deery Updated:
MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. - The Mecklenburg County Health department is trying to get in touch with thousands of customers of the Papa John’s Pizza at Cambridge Commons Drive in east Charlotte because a manager at the restaurant was diagnosed with hepatitis A.
The Health Department contacted Eyewitness News to try to get the warning out.
Health officials said it's very important if anyone was exposed, they get treated.
Customer after customer went to the restaurant returning pizzas and asking for refunds after they were told of the outbreak.
Papa John’s has set up a hotline to answer questions. Please call 855-397-7777
“I think I'm going to cancel my order and go somewhere else because that doesn't seem safe,” said Antoine Haynes.
The manager would not make a comment but health officials said a manager who made the pizzas at the Cambridge Commons store off Harrisburg Road contracted the disease while overseas.
They believe customers who ordered food from March 24 to April 7 may have been exposed.
There were about 2,400 orders were made during that time.
“Particularly, if you had a Papa John's pizza on March 28 or 29, you need to get in right away and get a vaccine, said Health Director Marcus Plescia.
He said people have 14 days from the time to exposure to get a vaccine, otherwise it isn't effective.
Plescia said the Health Department does regular inspections of the restaurant and he believes workers exercise good hygiene which may protect people from hepatitis A exposure.
“The only hepatitis case we know about right now is this Papa John's employee,” Plescia said.
But it's the unknown that makes people like Khiva Hines concerned.
“A lot of questions and a lot of word to pass around because this caters to the whole community over here,” Hines said.
There are 5,000 vaccinations being ordered.
The Health Department will administer them at the Mecklenburg County health office on Beatties Ford Road and at the Cabarrus County Health Department Friday from 4-8 p.m.
There will be another vaccination this weekend but that time and location has not been set.
Symptoms from hepatitis A can range from mild to severe while some people won't see any symptoms at all.
Symptoms include fever, nausea, vomiting, joint pain and jaundice and appear anywhere from two to six weeks after exposure and last two months, but can last longer.
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