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Hundreds call SLCO Health Department due to Hepatitis A concerns

WEST JORDAN – Health officials in Salt Lake County are getting flooded with calls from people concerned they may have been exposed to Hepatitis A from a 7-11 store in West Jordan.  Officials with the County Health Department say they’re happy to be getting these calls, because that means that word is spreading about potential exposure.

So far, there are no official accounts of someone being infected from going to the convenience store on 7800 South and 2700 West.  However, Department Spokesman Nicholas Rupp says, “It’s too early to know because Hepatitis A has an incubation period of two to seven weeks.”

Rupp says their operators are speaking with callers to verify that they went to that particular store between December 26th and January 3rd.  Then, the operator verifies that the person either visited the restroom, bought a fountain drink or purchased something from the hot section.  Rupp says, “If all those things are true, then we’ll go through their vaccination history.  We’ll ask them if they’ve been vaccinated because if they have, fortunately, they’re protected.”

Luckily, if someone needs to get the two-injection Hepatitis A vaccine, Rupp says there are several ways the person can get it.  “We are recommending they get the vaccine, either at the Health Department on a walk-in basis, or they can visit a pharmacy, or their health care provider.  The Hepatitis A vaccine is widely available at local pharmacies,” he says.

However, anyone who may have gone to that particular store doesn’t have too long to find out if they need to get preventative care.  In fact, anyone who may have been exposed on December 26th needs to have this medication by January 9th.  “For those folks exposed earlier in the time period, they need to get on it, right away,” Rupp says.