Customers who have visited a Starbucks in New Jersey are told to get vaccinated against hepatitis A
Customers who have visited a Starbucks in New Jersey are told to get vaccinated against hepatitis A after an employee tests positive for the infection
- An employee who worked at a Starbucks in Gloucester Township, New Jersey has tested positive for hepatitis A
- Customers who ate or drank in-store between November 4 and November 6 or between November 11 and 13 may have been exposed
- Health officials recommend that anyone who ate or drank in-store be vaccinated against Hepatitis A
- The store was found to have no security violations and was temporarily closed until all employees were vaccinated
Customers who visited a Starbucks in New Jersey this month were told to get vaccinated against hepatitis A after an employee tested positive.
According to the Camden County Department of Heath (CCDH), anyone who bought food or drink in Gloucester Township between Nov. 4 and Nov. 6 or Nov. 11 and 13 may have been exposed.
During those dates, the employee “worked through the contagious period,” potentially spreading the disease to customers.
Out of great caution, health officials are recommending that anyone who has visited the store be vaccinated.
An employee who worked at a Starbucks location (above) in Gloucester Township, New Jersey, tested positive for hepatitis A and may have been exposed between Nov. 4 and Nov. 6, or Nov. 11 and 13.
Health officials visited the store and said they had found no evidence of food safety violations.
The store was temporarily closed and did not reopen until all employees had been vaccinated.
The CCDH is setting up a vaccine clinic to administer hepatitis A injections to Camden County Sustainable Facility on Friday and Saturday, with shots available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Customers who may be infected are advised to come no later than 14 days after possible exposure.
“The county health department has been working closely with the patient and Starbucks staff to address the situation,” Camden County Health Officer Paschal Nwako said in a statement.
“Our highest priority is to ensure that everyone involved remains safe and healthy. The patient is currently out of work and close contacts have been identified.
“We encourage anyone who thinks they have been exposed to get vaccinated against hepatitis A by calling the provincial health department or your GP.”
Hepatitis A is a virus that attacks the body through inflammation of the liver. It is highly contagious and is usually spread through sexual contact, needle sharing, or by eating food contaminated by someone infected with the virus.
Those at risk of developing hepatitis A include drug users, men who have sex with men, and the homeless.
Symptoms — including fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and dark urine — can appear between two and seven weeks after exposure.
Health officials recommend that anyone who ate or drank in the store should be vaccinated against Hepatitis A (file image)
Although many infected people show no symptoms, it can take several months for the disease to clear.
Hepatitis A has been a recommended vaccine for children since the mid-1990s. The vaccine consists of two doses given six months apart.
In addition to getting vaccinated, public health officials are proposing strategies including washing hands with soap and water after going to the toilet and before eating or preparing food.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cases of hepatitis A increased by nearly 300 percent between 2016 and 2018 compared to the same period between 2013 and 2015.
The agency’s researchers say this is largely due to outbreaks among the homeless and among drug users.