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McDonald's employee tests positive for hepatitis 

An employee who handled food at the Niblick Road McDonald's in Paso Robles tested positive for hepatitis A, according to the San Luis Obispo Health Department.

The disease is often spread when an infected person does not wash their hands before they handle food. Anyone that ate at the restaurant between Oct. 30 and Nov. 7 could already be experiencing symptoms of the disease.

"We take these matters very seriously," said Dana Cook, owner of the Niblick Road McDonald's, in a release. "The safety and well-being of our customers is our top priority. We do not compromise on food safety and restaurant sanitation."

Symptoms can occur up to six weeks after exposure and include fever, loss of appetite, nausea, muscle aches, and jaundice. In rare cases the disease can result in liver failure or death.

"The early symptoms can mimic the flu, but later on nausea and jaundice occur," said Janelle Gorman, SLO County communicable disease coordinator. "If you think you have it, go see your doctor immediately."

Officials have requested that hospitals, physicians, clinics, and school nurses watch out for possible cases of the very contagious disease.

At this time, no other cases have been reported. There have been seven reported cases this year in San Luis Obispo County. Vaccinations are available through the Health Department.

-K.V.

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