Up to 2,000 7-Eleven customers may have been exposed to Hepatitis A after infected employee shows up for work: Reports

Up to 2,000 Utah customers may been exposed to Hepatitis A  (HAV) after an employee infected with the disease showed up to work, according to health officials.

The Salt Lake County Health Department reports that the customers who are risk of exposure are the ones who purchased and consumed non-packaged foods, such as fruit, hot foods, and self-serve drinks. Any customer who used the store’s restroom could also be at risk for exposure.

An employee at the 7-Eleven store located at 2666 West 7800 South in West Jordan, a suburb of Salt Lake City, was diagnosed with the disease, and apparently worked a shift at the store while the disease was transmissible and live.

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. The department has already taken up to 700 calls from worried consumers, and determined that at least 350 of the callers may be at risk for developing the disease.

Symptoms of Hepatitis A include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Little or no appetite
  • Dark urine
  • Vomiting
  • Liver problems, including liver failure
  • Jaundice

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. Anyone who visited the West Jordan store between between December 26 and January 3 are at possible risk.

“The possible hepatitis A exposure occurred when an infected employee worked while ill and potentially handled certain items in the store,” the department said, according to CNN.

Anyone who visited the store and used the restrooms or purchased the aforementioned items should call  385-468-INFO (4636) for additional instructions. The phones lines are open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. UTC.

[Feature Photo: Calvin Teo/Wiki Commons]