Hepatitis A alert in New Jersey after ShopRite worker contracts virus

SOMERVILLE, New Jersey (WABC) -- The New Jersey Department of Health issued an alert after a case of hepatitis A was confirmed in a supermarket worker in Somerset County.

Officials say the worker is a food handler at a ShopRite on Davenport Street in Somerville, and they are working to notify people who shop at the store.

The person reportedly worked during the time when they were able to spread the virus to others, also known as the infectious period, from October 13 to October 30.

The health department recommends that anyone who thinks they may have been exposed should contact a health care professional immediately, and any items purchased from the in-store deli during that time should be thrown away.

Anyone who ate items purchased there during that time and who was not previously vaccinated against hepatitis A was advised to get the hepatitis A vaccine.

Experts say that to be effective, the hepatitis A vaccine should be received as soon as possible, but no later than two weeks after eating food from this deli. For most people, this date would be November 13.

Hepatitis A is usually transmitted person-to-person through the fecal-oral route or consumption of contaminated food or water. Most adults with hepatitis A have symptoms including fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea, and jaundice, which usually resolve within two months of infection. Most children less than 6 years of age do not have symptoms or have an unrecognized infection.

Anyone who used the restrooms at the ShopRite should also consider getting vaccinated.

The Somerset County Department of Health will host a special walk-in clinic to provide free hepatitis A vaccinations at the county Human Services Building, 27 Warren Street, Somerville, from noon to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 6, and Thursday, Nov. 7. Free parking is available in the parking deck next to the building.

For additional questions, call the Somerset County Health Department hotline at 908-203-6014.

Answers to frequently asked questions about hepatitis A are available by CLICKING HERE.

For more information, visit the Somerset County Department of Health website.

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