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Another possible hepatitis A exposure in Utah, this time in Spanish Fork

Hepatitis A exposure in Spanish Fork, Utah (Photo: MGN)

(KUTV) - The Utah County Health Department has announced that customers of Sonic and Olive Garden in Spanish Fork may have been exposed to hepatitis A.

A West Jordan 7-Eleven had a hepatitis A scare earlier this week.

Below is a press release from the Utah County Health Department:

Utah County Health Department (UCHD) announced today that customers who consumed food/beverages or used the restroom at either of two Utah County locations on specific dates should visit here to see if they need to receive a vaccination to prevent Hepatitis A illness. For those without internet access, individuals can contact 801-851- HEPA (4372). The phone line will be staffed 8:30 am – 5 pm, starting Wednesday, January 10th.
Dates and locations of possible exposures include:
• Sonic Drive-In at 971 North Main Street in Spanish Fork on:
o Saturday, December 23, - Sunday, December 24
• Olive Garden at 1092 North Canyon Creek Parkway, Spanish Fork on:
o Thursday, December 21 - Saturday, December 30
Customers who used the restroom or ate at either of these restaurants above should visit here to determine their risk, or call 801-851-HEPA (4372). The preventive vaccine recommendation is for customers who consumed food or beverages, or used any restroom in the restaurants on the dates noted above.
People in need of vaccine must receive it within a short time period of their possible exposure, so it is essential that affected customers visit the website or call the health department as soon as possible.
The possible Hepatitis A exposure occurred when an infected employee worked while infectious. People with Hepatitis A are infectious before becoming symptomatic. UCHD believes these cases are linked to the ongoing outbreak Utah County and other areas of the state have been experiencing since August 2017. Both restaurants are cooperating fully with the health department’s investigation and response and, since discovering the possible exposure, are following additional health department recommendations.
Infected employees can’t return to work until medically-cleared by the Health Department.
“The potential exposures of Hepatitis A in food service establishments serves as a reminder to food service establishment owners and operators that food handler employees need to be encouraged and required to not work when ill,” says Ralph Clegg, UCHD Executive Director. “Conscientious personal hygiene and hand washing procedures need to be followed by employees and enforced by managers. Food service establishments should consider vaccinating their food-handling employees against Hepatitis A. All of these efforts are important for the protection of public health.”
Symptoms of Hepatitis A may include nausea/vomiting, abdominal pain, yellowing of the eyes or skin, dark urine, diarrhea, clay-colored stools, and fatigue. Contact your healthcare provider if you are experiencing these symptoms.
Hepatitis A vaccine is covered by most insurance plans and is widely available at local pharmacies, health care providers and Utah County Health Department immunization clinics.
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