Chattanooga - Hamilton County is the third leading area for hepatitis A, according to the CDC
Another case of hepatitis has been confirmed in Tennessee. This time it was at a McAlister’s in Kingsport.
We know this virus is spread by eating contaminated food or coming in contact with someone who is infected.
READ MORE | UPDATE: Date range expanded for hepatitis exposure
Over the last five years, Tennessee has seen an average of 13 cases per year.
This map breaks down the state by regions and metro areas from December 2017 until now.
The Mid-Cumberland region is number one, Metro Nashville is second, and then it's Chattanooga with 139 cases.
Hepatitis A treatment begins with a doctor taking a blood sample.
The Center for Disease Control suggests anyone who has been exposed to hepatitis A should get a vaccine within two weeks to prevent severe sickness.
Doctor Michelle Bandy said a lot of times this illness can be found in restaurants.
“If they don't wash their hands, it can get into the food,” Bandy explained. “Then they can share it, and it’s something you typically see in foreign countries.”
Bandy said symptoms develop over several days.
They usually start appearing four weeks after exposure but can occur as early as two and as late as seven weeks after exposure.
According to the CDC, people who get hepatitis A usually recover completely and do not have lasting liver damage.
“You'll feel bad for a while. You have a low-grade fever, nausea, fatigue, body ache. Your urine may change a different color,[a] little bit darker,” Bandy said. “It's not the most pleasant experience.”
People can spread the infection without knowing they have it.
The CDC said once someone has had hepatitis A, they cannot get it again.
Bandy said the best prevention is getting the vaccine and washing your hands often.
“The thing is, hepatitis A is one that can spread very easily. If you get sick, you're going to feel bad for a little while,” Bandy added.
The hepatitis A vaccine is given as two shots, six months apart.
Both shots are needed for long-term protection.