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Utahns exposed to Hepatitis A at West Jordan 7-Eleven get answers from health leaders

Posted at 6:18 PM, Jan 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-15 11:34:41-05

WEST JORDAN, Utah – Salt Lake County health leaders say many people are coming forward after they issued an alert about a Hepatitis A outbreak at a 7-Eleven in West Jordan.

Since 8 a.m. Monday morning, the Salt Lake County health department has been answering calls from people who are worried about the outbreak that occurred at the 7-Eleven on 7800 South 2666 West.

So far the health department has received 343 referrals regarding exposure.

“Calls came in even before 8 o’clock. We had staff here taking those calls, so many that we needed to increase the number of call takers,” said Gary Edwards, executive director, SLCO Health Dept.

A worker infected with the virus may have handled food and other items between December 26th and January 3rd.

Officials said you may be exposed if you used the bathrooms, or handled products from the following areas:

  • Fountain drink or self- serve beverage
  • Fresh fruit
  • Food from the hot food case - pizza, hot dogs, chicken wings or Taquitos

The health department is urging people who may have been exposed to go to a pharmacy, healthcare provider or health department to receive an injection.

“If they were there December 26th, then tomorrow is the last day for them to receive that preventive vaccination,” said Edwards.

As of 1 p.m. Monday, the health department referred 256 people to receive a vaccination.

Health leaders say food service handlers in Utah are not required to have a Hepatitis A vaccination.

Utah is dealing with an ongoing hepatitis outbreak where 60% of patients have been hospitalized. Many of those infected are homeless or illicit drug users.

For most individuals that get Hepatitis A, they will recover. Not have any long-term consequences.

It’s individuals that have other underlying health conditions that are more likely to have serious complications.

If you have questions, contact the hotline at 385-468-4636.