May 20, 2019

Possible Hepatitis A Exposure at City Billiards in Aiken, SC

An employee at City Billiards in Aiken, South Carolina has tested positive for the hepatitis A virus, according to a news release by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). Anyone who ate there from January 22, 2019 to February 5, 2019 may have been exposed to the pathogen. The Health Department is working with that facility to investigate exposures and have arranged vaccinations for anyone who may have been affected.

City Billiards Aiken SC Hepatitis A

The DHEC is declaring a hepatitis outbreak in Aiken County. Last week, there was another employee who tested positive at the Aiken Brewing Company on Laurens Street in downtown Aiken. There have been 10 hepatitis A cases diagnosed in that county since December 1, 2018.

The people who are sick in Aiken County did not get sick by eating contaminated food. While the risk of contracting hepatitis A from a food employee is low, people should still be aware and concerned.

At this point, only people who ate there January 31, 2019 and onward are eligible for a hepatitis A or immune globulin vaccination. Those shots are only effective if given within two weeks of exposure. DHEC is offering no-cost hepatitis A vaccines to anyone who may have been exposed.

The vaccine clinics will be help ate the Aiken County Health Department at 222 Beaufort Street North East in Aiken. The times for the clinics are Thursday, February 14, 2019 from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm; Friday, February 15, 2019, from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm; and Saturday, February 16, 2019 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

If you ate at City Billiards from January 22 to January 30, 2019, monitor your health for the symptoms of hepatitis A. However, a vaccine given after two weeks of exposure can provide protection from infection from future exposures.

People who contract this illness have symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, clay colored stools, abdominal pain, a fever, dark urine, and jaundice, which is yellowing of the skin and eyes. Symptoms start 15 to 50 days after exposure, and patients can be sick for months.

 

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