June 17, 2024

ShopRite Hepatitis A Exposure on Oxford in Northeast Philadelphia

A possible ShopRite hepatitis A exposure on Oxford Street in Northeast Philadelphia has prompted a warning from the Philadelphia Department of Health. A person who worked at that store, located at 6301 Oxford Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was contagious. No more reports of illness have been received by officials to date.

ShopRite Hepatitis A Exposure on Oxford in Northeast Philadelphia

Anyone who handled raw beef or pork or who ate undercooked raw beef or pork that was purchased from the store’s meat counter between January 4 and January 21, 2024 may have been exposed to the virus. Anyone who has completed the hepatitis A vaccine regimen, or who has had the disease in the past should be protected.

The vaccine will protect if it is given within two weeks of exposure. Since the first potential exposure occurred 22 days ago, anyone who shopped there before January 12, 2024 may not be eligible for the vaccine. Talk to your doctor if you fall into this group.

For anyone who is within the vaccine time frame, the Health Department is offering free hepatitis A vaccines at the District Health Center at 2230 Cottman Avenue in Philadelphia on Saturday, January 27, 2024 from 8:00 am to noon. You can also contact your doctor to get the vaccine, or visit a pharmacy. A list of pharmacies where people who have insurance can get vaccinated is at the Health Department website. You can also call the Health Department Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm at 215-685-5488 if you have questions.

Any beef or pork that was purchased from that store during that time frame and has been frozen should be discarded, because the virus can survive freezing temperatures. Heating food and liquids to 185°F for at least one minute can kill the virus. But using that meat is problematic because the virus is very contagious and cross-contamination is always a possibility.

If you aren’t eligible for the vaccine, you should monitor your health for the symptoms of hepatitis A for the next 50 days. During that time frame be very careful to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after using the bathroom or before preparing food. One of the issues with this virus is that people are infectious for two weeks before they even know they are sick.

Symptoms of a hepatitis A infection include fever, low energy, abdominal pain, especially in the upper right quadrant, diarrhea, vomiting, dark urine, jaundice, and light clay colored stools. If you do experience these symptoms, see your doctor.

 

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