Sick 7-Eleven employee potentially exposes 2k customers to hep A: 3 things to know

The Salt Lake County Health Department on Jan. 7 encouraged certain individuals who visited a 7-Eleven in West Jordan, Utah, between Dec. 26 and Jan. 3 to be screened for possible exposure to hepatitis A, according to a Jan. 7 release from the health department.

Here are three things to know.

1. The health department encouraged individuals who visited the convenience store between the previously listed dates and either used the restroom or consumed certain items — fountain drinks, self-serve beverages, fresh fruit or any item from the store's hot food case — to contact the health department, so staff can determine if the caller should receive a hepatitis A vaccine.

2. The health department estimated as many as 2,000 customers may have been exposed to the virus. The potential exposure risk stems from an infected employee who worked at the store while ill.

3. Health officials believe the case is associated with an ongoing hepatitis A outbreak in the state.

"This is an important reminder to food service establishments that they should consider vaccinating their food-handling employees against hepatitis A," said Gary Edwards, executive director of SLCoHD. "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."

More articles on infection control: 
'We hate H3N2': 3 reasons this year's flu season could get worse 
Hawaii mumps outbreak hits 770 cases 
CDC: Illinois VA facility cannot fully eliminate Legionnaires' risk

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