Kansans urged to report eye irritation following visits to Perry restaurant

Mysterious eye and skin irritation reported after visiting Perry Bar and Grill has the KDHE asking residents to report their symptoms.
Published: Jul. 29, 2022 at 2:18 PM CDT
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PERRY, Kan. (WIBW) - Mysterious eye and skin irritation reported after visiting Perry Bar and Grill has the KDHE asking residents to report their symptoms.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment says it has opened a joint investigation with the Jefferson Co. Health Department to uncover the circumstances leading to reports of residents who have suffered eye or skin irritation after they visited Perry Bar and Grill.

The KDHE said the number of those affected is not yet known, however, there are reports from about 15 customers who visited Perry Bar and Grill on July 21 or 22 who complained of eye irritation after visiting the establishment.

KDHE noted that the facility has been working with state and local agencies to find and correct the issue. It said Ultraviolet-C light bulbs were installed in the facility on July 21 and could be the cause of the irritation. The bulbs have since been removed.

Perry Bar and Grill voluntarily closed on July 23 and 24 and was reopened on July 25.

“The issue was resolved this weekend,” said Perry Bar and Grill owner Richard Nichlos. “We reopened Monday after meeting the Jefferson County Health Department.”

Nichlos noted that the bulbs were replaced on Thursday morning but were removed Friday night after the meeting with the health department.

The Department indicated that UVC radiation can cause severe burns to the skin as well as eye injuries. It can happen after mere seconds of exposure and the type of injury associated with the bulbs causes severe pain and a feeling of having sand in the eyes.

Sometimes, the KDHE noted, people are unable to use their eyes for one or two days following irritation. It said skin burns and eye irritation from UVC exposure usually resolve within a week with no long-term damage.

To better understand how many were affected and when symptoms arose, the KDHE said it would like those who visited Perry Bar and Grill from Monday, July 11, through Monday, July 25 and later, who also suffered pain or irritation in their eyes or on their skin to complete a survey HERE.

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