Starbucks employee had hepatitis A: Hundreds vaccinated in response
GLOUCESTER TOWNSHIP — Despite potential exposure to thousands, no one has reported testing positive for hepatitis A after a sick employee at a Starbucks in Gloucester Township handled food.
The coffee shop at 1490 Blackwood Clementon Road was closed on Wednesday after a private health care provider notified the health department of the positive test.
County spokesman Dan Keashan told New Jersey 101.5 that the store has reopened. The store has been thoroughly sanitized and all employees were vaccinated against hepatitis A.
The Department of Health recommended anyone who patronized the Starbucks either inside or at the drive-thru on Nov. 4,5, 6, 11, 12 and 13 to get the hepatitis A vaccine “out of an abundance of caution.” According to county spokesman Dan Keashan, more than 800 people were vaccinated at clinics held on Friday and Saturday.
Another hepatitis A vaccine clinic will be offered Wednesday at the Camden County Health Hub located at 200 College Drive in Blackwood from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. to anyone who may have been exposed.
If you have been vaccinated for hepatitis A in the past, you do not need to receive another dose, according to the Camden County Health Department. If you have a child that was born after the year 2000, that child has likely already been vaccinated for hepatitis A and does not require another dose.
Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection caused by a virus that is spread through ingestion by objects or food contaminated by undetectable amounts of stool from an infected person. Hepatitis A can also spread from personal contact with an infected person through sex or caring for someone who is ill, according to the CDC.
Symptoms of hepatitis A include:
- poor appetite
- vomiting or abdominal discomfort
- dark urine
- clay-colored or pale stool
- yellow discoloration to skin and whites of the eye (a condition known as jaundice)