The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control has reported a hepatitis A outbreak in Aiken County after an employee at a second restaurant in Aiken tested positive for the virus. an employee at City Billiards tested positive for the virus
Customers who ate at the restaurant on Richland Avenue West between Jan. 22 and Feb. 5 could have been exposed. DHEC said it is working with City Billiards to investigate possible exposures and has arranged preventive vaccination for anyone who might be affected. DHEC was notified Jan. 31 that an employee at the Laurens Street restaurant tested positive for the virus. On Feb. 4, DHEC warned customers about possible hepatitis A exposure at the downtown Aiken restaurant between Jan. 1
More than 750 people were vaccinated during a four-day clinic last week after possibly being exposed to the virus.
DHEC said it was not known at a known connection between the two cases. it is a declaration of hepatitis A outbreak in Aiken County in light of the findings. An outbreak is defined as "an unexpected increase in the number of cases in a geographic area or time period." There have been 10 hepatitis A cases diagnosed in Aiken County since December 1, 2018, the release said.
Hepatitis A is a contagious liver infection caused by the virus. Most people who get hepatitis A feeling sick for several weeks but usually recover completely and do not have liver damage, the release said. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, pain or yellowing of the eyes and skin.
The cases are not a food-related outbreak. DHEC State Epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell said “the risk of the hepatitis A virus spreading from an infected employee to customers in a restaurant setting is low. The concern is with a food trader with hepatitis. An infection, not the restaurant. ”Post-exposure vaccination is recommended for individuals who have not been previously vaccinated if can be administered less than two weeks from their date of consumption anything from the restaurant, with the last date of exposure being Feb. 5, the release said. DHEC will offer no-cost hepatitis DHEC encourages customers and staff who ate food prepared at the restaurant from Jan. 31-February 5 to contact their healthcare provider, or visit the Aiken County Health Department at 222 Beaufort St. NE for post-exposure treatment on Thursday and Friday from 10 am.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The vaccine is not shown to prevent infection when administered more than 14 days after a specific exposure. However, vaccination more than 14 days after exposure will provide long-lasting protection from infection from future exposures. As of Wednesday, customers and staff who ate at the restaurant between Jan. 22-January The release said, 30 are not likely to benefit from post-exposure vaccination.