OK, so not exactly the news you want to hear about after you ate that massive Thanksgiving dinner, but here goes...
On Wednesday evening, the Florida Department of Health in Orange County tweeted that a food service worker at the Morimoto Asia restaurant at Walt Disney World had been infected with hepatitis A, a highly contagious liver infection. Symptoms include nausea, abdominal pain, jaundice, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and extreme fatigue.
Health officials advised that patrons who consumed any food or beverages at the eatery in Disney Springs between Nov. 6 and Nov. 16 might have been exposed to the virus. The restaurant is run by Chef Masaharu Morimoto, of “Iron Chef” fame.
If you did eat there, try not to panic: A vaccine may provide protection against the disease if given within two weeks after exposure, say officials.
“Patrons should monitor for symptoms,” a followup DOH-Orange tweet says. “Sudden onset of abdominal discomfort, dark urine, fever, diarrhea, and yellow skin and eyes (jaundice).” Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention promptly for a shot.
DOH-Orange is also offering free shots to uninsured residents of Orange County at two locations by appointment only: 6101 Lake Ellenor Dr., Orlando (407-723-5054) and 832 W. Central Blvd., Orlando (407-858-1444).
Morimoto Asia released a statement with a phone number for concerned patrons: “The health, well-being and safety of our guests and employees is our top priority. We are working closely with the health department to ensure the restaurant follows all recommended procedures to protect our guests and employees. For additional information about this notice, please contact the Department of Health Orange County Epidemiology Program at (407) 858-1420.”