Utah Hepatitis A Outbreak: Health Department Issues Vaccination Notice

Visited this 7 Eleven? You might have hepatitis A

Visited this 7 Eleven? You might have hepatitis A

Health officials announced Sunday that some customers at a West Jordan 7-Eleven should contact the health department to receive an injection to prevent hepatitis A.

The health department says any customer who visited between December 26 and January 3 and who used any bathroom in the store or who consumed certain items needs to contact the health department.

The possible exposure only affects the specific 7-Eleven branch in West Jordan, as an employee worked at the store while infected with hepatitis A. Customers who purchased and consumed only packaged food and bottled items from the store are not at risk of exposure. The 385-468-INFO (4636) phone number will be staffed beginning Monday, Jan. 8 from 8:00 a.m.to 5:00 p.m.

Hepatitis A filled up the headlines for the wrong reasons past year, and it seems that the virus is kicking off 2018 with a possible outbreak.

The Salt Lake County Health Department believes that the incident is related to the hepatitis A outbreak that started in Salt Lake County in August 2017. 7-Eleven is cooperating fully with the health department's investigation and response and, since discovering the possible exposure, has sanitized the affected store according to health department recommendations.

"People in need of prophylaxis must receive it within a short time period of their possible exposure, so it is essential that affected customers call the health department as soon as possible", the health department states.

Gary Edwards, SLCoHD executive director said in a statement, "This is an important reminder to food service establishments that they should consider vaccinating their food-handling employees against hepatitis A. It's also important that food handlers be conscientious with hygiene, hand washing and not working when ill-and that managers be vigilant in enforcing those important requirements that help protect public health".

Here's what the CDC says about hepatitis A. In May, inmates at the Oakland County Jail were also exposed to hepatitis A after one of the inmates was confirmed to be infected with the virus.

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus.

Hepatitis A can cause mild to severe illness. Hepatitis A usually spreads when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food, or drinks contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from an infected person. Normally, 4 Hepatitis A cases are reported here each year.

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