starbucks-hepatitis-a-scare:-what-to-know

A local New Jersey health department urged patrons who went to a Gloucester Township Starbucks coffee shop on certain days this month to get vaccinated for hepatitis A after an employee tested positive. 

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection.

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The Camden County Department of Health instructed anyone who patronized Blackwood Clementon Road Starbucks on Nov. 4, 5, 6, 11, 12 or 13 to get the vaccine out of an abundance of caution, according to NJ.com.

The website said that the county is setting up a vaccination clinic on Friday.

However, an investigation did not reveal any health violations at the store, which was temporarily closed until all of the employees had been vaccinated.

A woman holds a Starbucks coffee cup.

A woman holds a Starbucks coffee cup. (Credit: iStock)

Fox 29 reported that the county was made aware of the infection on Wednesday. 

Hepatitis A is caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV), which is found in the stool and blood of people who are infected. 

The illness is spread when someone unknowingly ingests the virus, either through close personal contact with an infected person or through eating contaminated food or drink. 

In 2018, 12,474 cases of hepatitis A were reported in the U.S., but the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that the actual number of cases was likely around 24,900 due to underreporting.

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While hepatitis is rarely fatal and is usually mild, severe cases can hang on for months.

Symptoms of hepatitis A include fatigue, nausea, stomach pain and jaundice.

Although anyone can get hepatitis A, international travelers, men who have sex with men, people who use injection or noninjection drugs, people experiencing homelessness, people who anticipate close personal contact with an international adoptee and people with occupational risk for exposure are at increased risk for HAV infection.

People with chronic liver disease and with human immunodeficiency virus infection are at increased risk for severe disease from HAV infection.

The best way to prevent hepatitis A is to get vaccinated with the full, two-dose series of hepatitis A vaccine.

Hepatitis A vaccine has been licensed in America for use in people 1 year of age and older. The most frequently reported adverse events associated with monovalent hepatitis A vaccination are fever, injection site reactions and rash, the agency notes.

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Immune globulin can provide short-term protection against hepatitis A, both prior to and following exposure. Immune globulin must be administered within two weeks after exposure for maximum protection.

FOX Business’ Brie Stimson contributed to this report.

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