Health officials have warned that customers of a certain 7-Eleven branch in Utah may have been exposed to hepatitis A.
Hepatitis A filled up the headlines for the wrong reasons last year, and it seems that the virus is kicking off 2018 with a possible outbreak.
Salt Lake Officials Warn Of Possible Hepatitis A Exposure
In a press release, the Salt Lake County Health Department warned that customers who visited the 7-Eleven convenience store located at 2666 West 7800 South in the city of West Jordan may have been exposed to hepatitis A.
According to the department, up to 2,000 customers who visited the 7-Eleven branch from Dec. 26, 2017 to Jan. 3 may have been infected with the virus. Of particular risk are customers who used the store's restroom or consumed some of the items for sale, including the fountain drink or other self-service beverages, fresh fruit, and any item from the hot food case that includes hot dogs, pizza, taquitos, and chicken wings.
For people who visited the 7-Eleven branch during the time period and are at risk of hepatitis A infection following the above guidelines are recommended to contact the Salt Lake County Health Department to receive an injection against the virus. Staff will screen all callers for the possible exposure risk and provide the options for the hepatitis A vaccine.
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.
"This is an important reminder to food service establishments that they should consider vaccinating their food-handling employees against hepatitis A," said Salt Lake County Health Department executive director Gary Edwards in a statement.
Hepatitis A In 2017
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.
Salt Lake County is not the only area that had a hepatitis A problem last year. California faced the largest person-to-person hepatitis A outbreak since vaccines became available to the public in 1995, with San Diego being the hardest-hit county in the state.
In June, frozen tuna products were also found to be positive for hepatitis A, leading to a recall in California, Texas, and Oklahoma. 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.