Visited this 7-Eleven? You might have hepatitis A

Deadly disease at 7 Eleven sends authorities scrambling

The estimate of 2,000 residents is based on the store's average sales volume, the health department said.

The Tribune reports that up to 2,000 customers of the West Jordan 7-Eleven might have been exposed to hepatitis A and should get a preventative injection, the Salt Lake County Health Department recently announced.

Anyone who used the restroom, purchased a fountain drink, fruit, or any hot food items run a risk for contamination.

Packaged items, including microwaved foods and bottled beverages, are not implicated.

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.

The exposure, caused by a sick employee coming to work, is limited to the one location in Salt Lake County.

The health department believes this case is linked to the ongoing hepatitis outbreak in Salt Lake County since August 2017.

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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 is a liver virus typically passed between people through fecal or oral contact, but it can also be spread through contaminated food items, explained the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The 7-Eleven in question has been "cooperating fully" with the health department's investigation, and since the possible exposure was discovered the store has been sanitized in accordance with health department recommendations.

According to a press release from the Salt Lake County Health Department, the store in question is the 7-Eleven at 2666 West 7800 South. Authorities say an infected employee worked while ill and may have handled certain items.

"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 vaccine is expected to be readily available within the first quarter of 2018. According to the CDC, it can range from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months.

Beginning Jan. 8, the phone line will be staffed from 8 a.m.to 5 p.m. for health department personnel to screen callers for their exposure risk and provide further instructions. In rare cases, it can be fatal.

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