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

Salt Lake County health department has received 343 referrals regarding exposure

Health officials in Utah are assessing the possible link to recent outbreak of Hepatitis A in the city of West Jordan to a 7-Eleven employee, according to a Salt Lake Tribune report.

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.

Customers who used the restroom or consumed a fountain drink, fresh fruit or food from the hot food case should contact the county health department to get information about receiving a preventive hepatitis A injection, the release said.

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.

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3 time period, an employee infected with hepatitis A worked at that 7-Eleven location.

SLCoHD believes this hepatitis A case is linked to the ongoing outbreak Salt Lake County has been experiencing.

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.

Based on the store's average sales, the health department estimates as many as 2,000 people may have been exposed.

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"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. 7-Eleven has been cooperating with the health department's investigation and fully sanitized the store after the exposure was discovered. Staff will screen all callers for the possible exposure risk and provide the options for the hepatitis A vaccine.

Edwards added, "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". Hepatitis A is an extremely contagious virus that infects the liver.

Hepatitis A can cause mild-to-severe illness lasting weeks to months. 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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