NJ Health Department Officials Confirm ShopRite Deli Worker Infected with Hepatitis A

Credits Tapinto File

Credits Tapinto File

Anyone who consumed food and/or drink from the deli/appy department at the Somerville ShopRite, located at 1 S. Davenport St., or used the rest room at this store between October 13 and 30, and has not previously received the hepatitis A vaccination, is encouraged to visit this clinic to receive the vaccine. The vaccine should be received within two weeks after eating food from the deli, officials said. For most people, the latest date would be November 13.

Immunocompromised (persons with weakened immune systems) should talk with their healthcare provider about getting immunoglobulin or Ig instead of the vaccine.

Those who consumed products from the deli or used the store's bathrooms during this time, who have not already been vaccinated against hepatitis A, should get vaccinated as soon as possible, according to the article.

Dr. Nikolas Pyrsopoulos, director of the Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, said vaccines can help prevent hepatitis A.

Furthermore, the NJDOH has notified healthcare providers so they can be alert to test for hepatitis A if a patient has symptoms and so they can provide vaccine if an opportunity occurs, to those at risk of infection.

If you have additional concerns about your health, contact your own health care provider for individualized guidance.

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As of October 26, 2019, the NJDOH reported 504 hepatitis A cases met the outbreak-associated case definition since December 1, 2018. It is preventable by vaccine. Unlike hepatitis B and C, which are blood-born diseases, hepatitis A usually spreads when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food, or drinks contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from an infected person.

Symptoms include fatigue, nausea, stomach pains, fever and loss of appetite.

"The safety of our customers and associates is our highest priority".

The statement continued, "As soon as we received notification from the departments of health, we took immediate action to deep clean and sanitize the store, including all knives, cases, and equipment and work surfaces per required food safety protocols".

The spokesperson also says that all deli meats, cheeses or sandwiches from the department that may have been handled by the employees "are no longer in the store".

The Hepatitis A vaccine is available at the ShopRite pharmacy or your health care provider. Anyone who bought food from the deli should throw it away, according to a joint statement the New Jersey and Somerset County health departments. Right next door is a parking deck offering free parking and remember you don't need any appointment.

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