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Local hepatitis bill is $17,000 and growing

FORT WAYNE -- The response to the exposure of restaurant patrons to hepatitis A has cost up to $17,000 so far, with the total cost expected to be several thousand dollars higher by the time it’s over.

A vaccination clinic was set up over the weekend in response to a report that an employee of the 800 Degrees Three Fires restaurant, 5125 Illinois Road, had the infectious disease. The Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health administered more than 1,100 hepatitis A vaccinations before running out of vaccine.

Department Administrator Mindy Waldron said the biggest cost – the vaccines – was covered by the State Department of Health. About $30,000 worth of vaccine was administered.

About $15,000 of the local department’s cost was for overtime for department staffers, many of whom worked 15-hour days back to back, Waldron said. The rest was for supplies such as bandages, syringes, cotton balls and gloves.

For more on this story see Thursday’s print edition of The Journal Gazette or return to after 3 a.m. Thursday.