Saturday, 21 April, 2018

Customers at Utah 7-Eleven may have been exposed to hepatitis A

Hamiltons Sofa & Leather Celebrates 30 Years Joe Raedle Getty Images File
Marlene Weaver | 10 January, 2018, 03:52

Health officials are issuing a warning after it was discovered an employee who works at a West Jordan 7-Eleven has Hepatitis A.

On Jan. 3, the health department was notified the employee had been diagnosed with hepatitis A, Rupp said, and interviewed the store worker the next day.

Officials said customers should call a hotline, 385-468-INFO (4636) for vaccine options.

Health officials also ask customers who consumed fresh fruit from the store, fountain drinks or other self-serve beverages and any item from the hot food case - such as pizza, hot dogs, chicken wings or taquitos - to contact the health department immediatly.

Any customers who visited the convenience store between December 26 and January 3 and used the store's restroom are asked to contact the health department immediately for information on receiving a vaccine to prevent hepatitis A.

As of Monday afternoon, 256 people had been referred by the county health department to get an injection, according to CNN affiliate KSTU.

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver disease that can be transmitted through objects, food, drinks or sexual contact. Symptoms include fever, diarrhea, vomiting and jaundice, or yellowing of the skin.

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"It's also important the food handlers be conscientious with hygiene, hand washing and not working when ill - and that managers be vigilant in enforcing those important requirements that protect public health".

Before the 7-Eleven employee exposure, state and county health officials said the outbreak had been largely confined to the homeless.

The call center will remain open through Wednesday, and possibly into Thursday, depending on volume, officials said. "We are working closely with the Salt Lake County Health Department".

At the Salt Lake County immunization clinic 129 people were given the vaccine.

In November 2017, the CDC said the U.S.is experiencing a shortage of the hepatitis A vaccine after a surprisingly high number of outbreaks across the country, according to CNN.

The incubation period for hepatitis A is two to seven weeks, Rupp said, so officials likely won't know for several days if anyone who visited the store has been sickened.

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