7-Eleven Customers May Have Been Exposed to Hepatitis A

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It's mostly been limited to people experiencing homelessness or who use intravenous drugs.

Health officials estimate 2,000 customers may be affected, based on the average sales volume of the 7-Eleven, 2666 W. 7800 South. If you have been fully vaccinated against the virus, or if you have had hepatitis A in the past you are immune. Anyone else should contact the health department and let them know that they think they have been exposed.

Officials in Utah say customers at a West Jordan 7-Eleven may have been exposed to hepatitis A.

Those who used any restroom, drank a fountain drink, ate fresh fruit or any item from the store's hot food case, including pizza, hot dogs, chicken wings or taquitos are at risk, the department reports.

Packaged items, including bottled beverages and microwaved foods, are not implicated in the possible exposure, the health department said in a news release, as reported by the Salt Lake Tribune.

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The customers who visited the store at 2666 West 7800 South between December 26, 2017 and January 3 have been urged to contact the health department to receive vaccination and prevent the spread of the disease. "Customers who are fully vaccinated (two doses) against hepatitis A also do not need to contact the health department", according to the health department. The phone line is staffed from 8 a.m.to 5 p.m.

The exposure may have affected up to 2,000 customers, the health department states.

The health department believes this case could be linked to the ongoing outbreak Salt Lake County has experienced since August.

The store has since been sanitized, the health department said, and 7-Eleven is cooperating with a health department investigation. The health warning only extends to one store, where an infected employee worked while ill, the Salt Lake County Health Department said. If immunoglobulin is not available, hepatitis A vaccine can be substituted.

Vaccines, like any medicine, can generate side effects, says the CDC.

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Hepatitis A is a highly contagious infection caused by a virus that affects the liver. Although rare, hepatitis A can cause death in some people.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HAV is generally transmitted via person to person through consuming contaminated foods, drinking contaminated water, or via feces.

Pam Davenport, spokesperson for the health department, told Mail Online that right now, it's too soon tell how many people are affected, as the symptoms can take anywhere from a few weeks to a month to surface.

Usually people recover completely but in certain cases a person may die from fulminant hepatitis.

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