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Hepatitis A-Positive Starbucks Employee Possibly Exposed Customers in New Jersey, Prompting Immediate Vaccination

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Hepatitis A-Positive Starbucks Employee Possibly Exposed Customers in New Jersey, Prompting Immediate Vaccination (PHOTO: The Washington Newsday)

Customers at the busy Starbucks in Blackwater, New Jersey, may have been exposed to Hepatitis A virus (HAV) after one of its employees tested positive. International Business Times reported that immediate investigations showed no evidence of food safety violations. Public health officials advise exposed customers to get vaccinated within 14 days since contact.

 

Hepatitis A virus

Hepatitis A virus (HAV) can be spread through personal contact with an infected person, or contaminated food or drink. (PHOTO: European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control)

Thousands of Starbucks Customers Exposed to Hepatitis A Virus 

On November 17, the Camden County Health Department was informed that an employee of Starbucks located at 1490 Blackwood Clementon Road in Gloucester Township had tested positive for HAV. Authorities have shut down the location until all of its employees are vaccinated.

They noted in the news release that the employee worked for six days on November 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, and 13. That means anyone who visited the location on those dates is advised to get Hepatitis A vaccine within 14 days of exposure.

Moreover, county spokesman Dan Keashen told CNN that the Starbucks location usually gets approximately 600 customers every day, making it possible that thousands of customers have been exposed to Hepatitis A. Anyone exposed to even microscopic amounts via contaminated foods, drinks, objects, or people may also get infected.

ALSO READ: Adults Ages 18 And Above In The US Are Now Eligible For Booster Shot

What is Hepatitis A?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Hepatitis A is a very contagious liver infection caused by the Hepatitis A virus (HAV) that is usually found in contaminated stool and blood. It is spread through direct contact or unknowingly ingesting the virus wherein even in microscopic amounts they can infect anyone.

Some symptoms of the infection include fatigue, nausea, stomach pain, and jaundice that may last up to two months. Most people who get infected do not have a long-term illness, but the best way to prevent Hepatitis A is by getting vaccinated.

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