Hepatitis case confirmed at So. Utah restaurant

Interior of the Pizza Cart restaurant, Cedar City, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of the Pizza Cart, St. George News

CEDAR CITY – The Southwest Utah Public Health Department announced Tuesday it has received confirmation that a food handler working at an Iron County restaurant has tested positive for hepatitis A.

Customers who ate at the Pizza Cart, 1190 S. Sage Drive in Cedar City, between April 29 and June 1 may have been exposed to hepatitis A, according to a press release from the health department.

Anyone who has been previously vaccinated for hepatitis A is protected from infection, the press release said.

Customers who ate at the restaurant between May 19 and June 1 who have not been vaccinated should be treated with the hepatitis A vaccine, as well as immunoglobulin, depending on the age of the individual.

Customers who ate at the Pizza Cart between April 29 and June 1 should contact their doctor or health care provider if they develop symptoms of hepatitis A, the statement said. Symptoms include:

  • Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin)
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever

Treatment is available at the Southwest Utah Public Health Department, 260 East DL Sargent Drive in Cedar City. No appointment is needed, according to the statement, but 30 minutes should be allowed for the visit.

A post on the Pizza Cart’s Facebook page Tuesday read:

It has been brought to our attention that one of our employees has tested positive for Hepatitis A. How or where they contracted the virus is unknown. However, this employee is recovering and will not be returning to work until medically cleared. It should also be noted that the employee was not symptomatic while working for us, but unfortunately Hepatitis A can be spread before the onset of symptoms. For this reason, we have been working closely with the Southwest Health Department to prevent any further spreading of the virus.

There have been no other confirmed cases of hepatitis A related to the Pizza Cart, the health department press release said. The restaurant remains open for business.

“This location has a record of very good restaurant inspection scores,” the press release said, “and management is cooperating fully with the investigation.”

 The Southwest Utah Public Health Department’s hours are Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Tuesdays, 1-5:30 p.m.; and Fridays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Individuals seeking treatment should bring their immunization records, a photo ID and insurance card. Without insurance, the cost for hepatitis A treatment is $75 for those age 19 and older and $50 for those 18 and younger.

Ed. note: Photo of restaurant substituted at top of story; submitted by the Pizza Cart.

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5 Comments

  • ladybugavenger June 3, 2015 at 6:18 am

    Well jeeeze I sure hope the restaraunt pays the fees for doctors fees and treatment fees for those exposed to hep A while eating at their restaraunt.

  • voice of reason June 3, 2015 at 8:02 am

    Kudos to the Pizza Cart for being proactive and putting this info out there before the news. The family that owns this place are good people and they are doing all they can to minimize the risk. I guarantee you there are dozens of other restaurants that would just sweep this under the rug.

  • mrcman June 3, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    Are you kidding me with this picture? A pizza with a syringe hanging over it is about as ridiculous as it gets. Hep A is transmitted from feces to GI tract, almost never by unintentional injection. Maybe you are trying to convey a picture of someone administering a vaccine, but you missed the mark big time. Do the good owners of this establishment a favor and lose the picture.

    • Joyce Kuzmanic Joyce Kuzmanic June 5, 2015 at 6:24 am

      Thank you for your suggestion, mrcman. Pizza Cart submitted a photo at our invitation, and that photo has been substituted. Yes, the point of the graphic was that shots may be required for someone exposed to the virus.
      ST. GEORGE NEWS | StGeorgeNews.com
      Joyce Kuzmanic
      Editor in Chief

  • voice of reason June 3, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    Agreed, the picture is deplorable, libelous and nearly slander. You’d think an editorial board would know better. Hopefully someone gets a brain and changes it.

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