Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Hep A At Red Feather, or, Why The Editor Needs A Shot

Posted By on Tue, Mar 25, 2008 at 4:00 AM

Great. This is how my editorship of the BW will end? With me a victim of Hepatitis A?

Dave Fotsch from the Central District Health Department assures me it will not. (Fotsch, a nice guy, is not a doctor.)

When we got the news about Red Feather I began checking my personal calendar and found, yep, I'd been to the bar twice during the infect-o-period. Regardless of what this might say about my predictable entertainment calendar, I had some concerns: if the guy who had Hep A handled my gin and tonic those nights at the Red Feather, well, it's off to the vaccination clinic for me.

(Somebody page Skip Smyser. I happened to notice the uber-lobbyist was also there during one of the nights in question. The lawmaker he was with, ahem, might also want to seek out a vaccination.)

It all went down sort of like this, according to Dave Krick, the owner of the Eighth Street-area lounge:

He received a phone call Monday from the Health Department, saying that somebody who worked for him had been identified as having contact with another person who had contracted Hepatitis A.

"The risk is relatively small but we can't say it's zero, so we have to let people know," said Fotsch.

Krick's employee couldn't be identified yet, Krick said, per various health and safety and privacy rules. He's since identified the worker, who was at Red Feather on 11 days between March 5 and March 17.

Krick said the worker is a "really terrific person" who has not had any issues as an employee.

"It's kind of sad," Krick said.

The bar, for the record, has complied fully with the Health Department, the agency said today.

"It seems like everything's been managed well," Krick said. "I haven't heard of anyone else getting sick. It's one of those bizarre things."

I'm off for another of those bizarre things: I called the Health Department, and a helpful nurse there told me I have 14 days from my last exposure to get a vaccination. In other words, tomorrow.

Shots anyone?

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