February 25, 2020

Worker with Hepatitis A at Trader Joe’s in Reno, Nevada Diagnosed Weeks Ago

An employee at the Trader Joe’s store in Reno, Nevada has been diagnosed with hepatitis A. This information just came out two days ago, but the employee worked there in October, so it’s too late for anyone who may have been exposed to get a hepatitis A or immune globulin vaccination.

Hepatitis A Definition

A sign was posted at the store by the Washoe County Health District, but they do not have any information about this issue on their website. That employee is a checker and a stocker. Since checkers do not wear gloves when they handle food, consumers may have been exposed to the virus.

That Trader Joe’s store is located at 5035 South McCarran Boulevard. The employee worked there between October 20 and October 31, 2017. Since vaccinations are only effective if given within two weeks of exposure, the time frame for this safety measure has passed.

Anyone who visited that store during that time period should monitor themselves for the symptoms of hepatitis A, which can show up two weeks to 50 days after exposure. Those symptoms include fever, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, joint pain, itching, fatigue, pain in the upper right side of the abdomen, dark urine, clay colored stools, and jaundice. There is no treatment for hepatitis A.

The strange thing about this illness is that people are infectious for two weeks before symptoms appear. That means that people who have contracted this illness can infect others before they even know they are sick.

The virus is transferred several ways. Most people get it through consuming contaminated food or beverages. Touching contaminated surfaces is another avenue of transmission. And close personal contact, especially with other people who live with you, is another avenue.

While most people do recover from this infection after a few weeks or months, some, especially people with compromised immune systems or liver disease, can become seriously ill and even die. If you do experience these symptoms, see your doctor.

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