Public notice: Hepatitis A case in Turnersville

A press release from the Gloucester County Department of Health

Gloucester County Health Department in conjunction with the New Jersey Department of Health announced a single case of hepatitis A in a food worker employed at Dunkin’ Donuts located at 460 Hurffville-Crosskeys Road in Turnersville has been confirmed. This individual worked while they were potentially infectious between May 18 through June 1. The management of this establishment is cooperating with sanitary procedures and the investigation.

While the risk to people who ate or drank beverages at the Turnersville Dunkin’ Donuts between May 18 through June 1 is low, out of an abundance of caution the Gloucester County Health Department is recommending that they receive “post-exposure prophylaxis” (PEP). PEP consists of hepatitis A vaccine and/or immune globulin and can further reduce the risk of acquiring hepatitis A. To be effective, PEP should be received as soon as possible, but no later than June 15, 2019.

Hepatitis A vaccine, the PEP that most people will need, may be obtained at your healthcare provider, or from a pharmacy with a prescription. Individuals should schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider or pharmacy. Those without medical insurance that covers vaccines can contact the Gloucester County Health Department at (856) 218-4101.

Dunkin’ Donuts worked closely with the Gloucester County Health Department staff and all employees affected were identified and are able to return to work after receiving PEP.

Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that results from infection with the hepatitis A virus. It can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months. Hepatitis A is usually spread when a person ingests fecal matter, even in microscopic amounts, from contact with objects, food, or drinks contaminated by the feces or stool of an infected person. Signs and symptoms of hepatitis A can include the following:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Dark urine
  • Clay-colored bowel movement
  • Joint pain
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)

Signs and symptoms usually appear two to four weeks after exposure, although they may occur two to seven weeks after exposure. Children under six years of age with hepatitis A often do not have or show few signs and symptoms.

Those suspecting that they have symptoms of hepatitis A should contact their healthcare provider. For more information contact the Gloucester County Health Department at (856) 218-4101.

Those suspecting that they have symptoms of hepatitis A should contact their healthcare provider. Persons and healthcare providers with questions or needing more information on hepatitis A can contact the Gloucester County Health Department at 856-218-4101.