June 25, 2019

Possible Hepatitis A Exposure at Teriyaki Japan in North Augusta, SC

Customers who ate at Teriyaki Japan on Edgefield Road in North Augusta, South Carolina may have been exposed to the hepatitis A virus, according to a news release by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. Anyone who ate food or drank beverages between May 14 and May 28, 2019 could have been exposed to the virus.

Possible Hepatitis A Exposure at Teriyaki Japan in North Augusta, SC

Dr. Linda Bell, state epidemiologist, said in a statement, “The concern here is not the restaurant. It is with a food handler who has hepatitis A infection.” The risk of contracting the illness is low, but it still exists. “As a precaution, in these situations, vaccination should be considered for individuals who were exposed during the time the food handler was contagious,” she added.

Anyone who ate there after May 17, 2019 can no longer get an immune globulin or hepatitis A vaccination because those vaccines are only effective if given within two weeks of exposure. All those people can do is watch for the symptoms of the illness.

If you ate there May 17 through May 28, 2019, you can get the vaccine; contact your medical provider or pharmacy about post exposure treatment. Adults 18 years and older can be vaccinated at some local pharmacies in that state without a prescription, depending on insurance coverage.

Anyone who was at Teriyaki Japan during the days stated above can get a vaccine at the Aiken County Health Department at 222 Beaufort Street North East in Aiken from 830 am to 5:00 pm Friday, and Monday. No appointment is necessary.

Symptoms of hepatitis A include dark urine, clay colored stools, nausea, vomiting, pain in the abdomen, diarrhea, and jaundice, which is yellowing of the eyes and skin. Symptoms usually start within two to eight weeks of exposure. People are contagious for two weeks before they start to show symptoms.

There is a statewide hepatitis A outbreak in South Carolina. The health department declared the outbreak on May 13, 2019. There have been more than five times the number of cases usually seen in a year in South Carolina ion the last seven months.

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