Monday, 17 Dec 2018

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2,000 may have been exposed to Hepatitis A

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Health Desk: 10 January 2018: As many as 2,000 people in Salt Lake County, Utah are at risk of hepatitis A after visiting a local 7-Eleven store where an employee diagnosed with the virus came to work during their infectious period.

Salt Lake County's ongoing outbreak is part of a multi-state resurgence of the disease over the course of the last year, affecting primarily California, Kentucky and Michigan, as well as Utah.

The county health department issued a warning on Sunday, urging anyone who had visited the store in West Jordan, just south of the state's capital, between December 26 2017 and January 3 2018 to get vaccinated.

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.

Outbreaks of hepatitis A began cropping up sporadically throughout the US in March of 2017, spurring the California government to declare a public health emergency.

Until now, Utah's outbreak had been confined to about 152 cases among the state's homeless population and illicit drug users.