Health officials said 7-Eleven is cooperating fully with its investigation. As many as 2,000 customers may have been exposed.
According to the department, up to 2,000 customers who visited the 7-Eleven branch from December 26, 2017 to January 3 may have been infected with the virus. There is no treatment for hepatitis A, and your body naturally clears the virus out of your system within a few months, explained the National Health Services in England. They might have been exposed to Hepatitis A.
The full statement from the health department follows below.
A Utah 7-Eleven possibly exposed nearly 2,000 customers to hepatitis A, according to Salt Lake County health officials.
Any item from the store's hot food case, such as pizza, hot dogs, chicken wings or taquitos.
The Salt Lake County Health Department reports that the customers who are risk of exposure are the ones who purchased and consumed non-packaged foods, such as fruit, hot foods, and self-serve drinks. Customers who consumed only packaged or bottled items do not need to contact the health department. Nor do people who are protected with two doses of the Hepatitis A vaccine. The phones lines are open from 8:00 a.m.to 5:00 p.m. UTC.
The health department states that people who need the vaccine must receive it soon after their exposure for it to be effective.
7-Eleven Customers May Have Been Exposed to Hepatitis A
The estimate of 2,000 residents is based on the store's average sales volume, the health department said.
The exposure, caused by a sick employee coming to work, is limited to the one location in Salt Lake County. Authorities say they believe the possible exposure is related to an outbreak of hepatitis A in Salt Lake County that has been going on since August 2017.
"There's a window of time that individuals can receive prophylactic vaccination, and we are still in that window", says Gary Edwards, director of the health department.
"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", the health department executive said.
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. When the liver is inflamed or damaged, its function can be affected.
Hepatitis A is a highly contagious infection caused by a virus that affects the liver.
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