Thousands of customers who frequent a 7-Eleven location in West Jordan, Utah, are being warned by health officials about a possible hepatitis A exposure at the store.
The Salt Lake Health Department encourages people who might have used the store bathroom or eaten any of the food items between the possible dates of contamination contact 385-468-4636 for advice.
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.
Prepackaged items bought at the store are safe.
Anyone who visited the store in West Jordan, Utah, between December 26 and January 3 could have come into contact with the highly contagious liver infection, the Salt Lake County Health Department announced January 7.
The estimate of 2,000 residents is based on the store's average sales volume, the health department said. So far, there have been no confirmed additional cases as a result of exposures in the convenience store, but this is the first time the virus has moved from homeless and drug-using populations into the general public in the state.
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Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus and is most frequently transmitted by eating food or drinking water handled by someone who has not properly washed their hands. The health warning only extends to one store, where an infected employee worked while ill, the Salt Lake County Health Department said.
Symptoms - which include nausea, vomiting, fever and fatigue - can take 15 to 50 days to appear.
"The health and safety of our customers is our top priority", 7-Eleven said in a statement.
Outbreaks of hepatitis A began cropping up sporadically throughout the USA in March of 2017, spurring the California government to declare a public health emergency.
In November 2017, the CDC said the U.S.is experiencing a shortage of the hepatitis A vaccine after a surprisingly high number of outbreaks across the country, according to CNN.