Hundreds rush to get hepatitis a vaccines after 7-Eleven scare

Hundreds rush to get hepatitis a vaccines after 7-Eleven scare

Health officials suspect link to recent outbreak to store employee.

Health officials from Salt Lake County say around 2,000 people who visited the West Jordan store between December 26 and January 3 could have picked up the liver infection - and only have until today to have a preventative shot.

Contact the health department or your healthcare provider about getting an immune globulin or hepatitis A vaccination if you fall into those groups.

"It is essential that affected customers call the health department as soon as possible", the release read.

The possible hepatitis A exposure occurred when an infected employee worked while ill and potentially handled certain items in the store. 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.

7-Eleven didn't respond to a request from CSD for a comment on the situation, or the course of action the company is now pursuing. "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", the CDC explains.

Hundreds rush to get hepatitis a vaccines after 7-Eleven scare

"The health and safety of our customers is our top priority", 7-Eleven said in a statement.

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

The hepatitis A virus can be prevented through vaccine. If they were exposed to the virus by using the bathroom or buying fountain drinks, fruit or cooked foods they have a two week window for the vaccine to work. According to the CDC, it can range from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months.

7-Eleven is cooperating with the department's investigation and has sanitized the store after the exposure, health officials added.

Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is recommended for unvaccinated people who have been exposed to the hepatitis A virus in the last 2 weeks. He says it's rare for a person exposed to develop an acute illness, but if it does happen it can seriously damage the liver and in rare cases be life threatening.

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