October 15, 2019

Possible Hepatitis A Exposure at Two South Carolina Restaurants

Two employees at two different restaurants in South Carolina have been diagnosed with hepatitis A, possibly exposing customers to the virus, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. The restaurants are Harbour Town Yacht Club at 140 Lighthouse Road on Hilton Head Island, and Popeyes at 954 York Street Northeast in Aiken.

Possible Hepatitis A Exposure at Two South Carolina Restaurants

Dr. Linda Bell, state epidemiologist, said this is not a foodborne outbreak, but that officials are concerned that the infected food handlers may have contaminated food or beverages.

An employee of the Harbour Town Yacht Club worked at three events where customers could have been exposed. They are a social on June 8, 2019, a dinner on June 13, and a wedding party on June 14. All of those dates are within the two week window where a hepatitis A or immune globulin vaccination would be effective.

The employee at the Popeyes restaurant worked between May 29 and June 12, 2019. Anyone who ate there before May 5, 2019 is no longer eligible for the vaccines. All those people can do is watch themselves for the symptoms of hepatitis A and see their doctor if they do get sick.

The symptoms of hepatitis A include fatigue, nausea, weight loss, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, pain in the upper abdomen, clay colored stools, dark urine, and jaundice. Symptoms usually begin 15 to 50 days after exposure to the virus.

These restaurant patrons who were potentially exposed can visit the Aiken County health Department at 222 Beaufort Street Northeast in Aiken from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm on June 19, June 20, and June 21. No appointments are necessary. If you ate at these restaurants at the above dates, you can also call DHEC’s Carolina at 1-855-472-3432. Careline staff can answer your questions from 8:00 am until 6:00 pm Monday through Friday.

You can prevent the spread of this virus by getting vaccinated. Other methods of prevention include thorough handwashing after using the bathroom, and staying home from work or school if you are sick, particularly with a diarrheal illness.

 

 

Comments

  1. Carroll Coleman says

    Linda, my family and I were on a dinner cruise out of Harbour Town on June 12. They told us the food was from the Quarter Deck, which I think is part of Harbour Town Yaught club. Should we be concerned or follow up with our physician?

    • Linda Larsen says

      Yes, check with your family doctor. He or she may recommend a hepatitis A or immune globulin vaccination.

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