With New Jersey having 66 hepatitis A cases in the same time period the previous year, infectious disease specialists are becoming more concerned, according to the article.
But the possible exposure at the ShopRite in Somerville reported Monday by Somerset County health officials and another prominent case involving an infected food handler at Mendham Golf & Tennis Club have created broader concerns. For most people, this date would be November 13. The outbreak began on December 1 and includes cases in all 21 New Jersey counties.
Anyone who purchased items at the ShopRite deli department during the periods of October 13 to October 30 is urged to throw them away.
NOTE: The immunocompromised (persons with weakened immune systems) should talk with their healthcare provider about getting immunoglobulin or Ig instead of the vaccine.
Individuals who may have eaten items purchased at the in-store deli/appy department from the ShopRite of Somerville from October 13 to 30 and who were not previously vaccinated against hepatitis A, should get the hepatitis A vaccine to prevent getting sick.
Furthermore, the NJDOH has notified healthcare providers so they can be alert to test for hepatitis A if a patient has symptoms and so they can provide vaccine if an opportunity occurs, to those at risk of infection. Unlike hepatitis B and C, which are blood-born diseases, hepatitis A usually spreads when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food, or drinks contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from an infected person.
Wash your hands with soap and warm water frequently and thoroughly, especially after using the bathroom and before preparing food. Other potential side effects include mild headache, loss of appetite among children, and feeling exhausted.
The walk-in clinic will be held from noon to 8 p.m. both days at the Somerset County Human Services Building, 27 Warren Street, Somerville.
A spokesperson for ShopRite says in a statement, "The safety of our customers and associates is our highest priority".
The Hepatitis A vaccine is available at the ShopRite pharmacy or your health care provider. "If you have no access to a health care provider or insurance, you may call Zufall Health at 908-526-2335 for more care information".
Somerset County is offering free hepatitis A vaccinations after a deli worker at a supermarket was found to have the virus.