GLOUCESTER TOWNSHIP, N.J. — County officials in New Jersey launched a two-day hepatitis A vaccine clinic this week after a Starbucks worker tested positive for the disease, potentially exposing thousands of customers.
Camden County Health Department officials said the employee works at the Starbucks at 1490 Blackwood Clementon Rd. in Gloucester Township.
The Health Department was notified on Wednesday that the person worked through the infectious period, and immediately began an investigation.
Anyone who patronized the Starbucks on Nov. 4, 5, 6, 11, 12 and 13 should get the hepatitis A vaccine, if they haven’t already received one, officials said.
Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that results from infection with the hepatitis A virus. It can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months.
The Camden County Department of Health opened a pop-up hepatitis A vaccine clinic on Friday to help anyone who may have been exposed. The clinic also offered vaccines on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The clinic was located at the Camden County Sustainable Facility at 508 Lakeland Rd.
Anyone previously vaccinated for hepatitis A does not need to receive another vaccination, even if they may have been exposed, health officials said. Additionally, officials said most children born after 2000 have likely already been vaccinated against the disease. Parents should check with their pediatrician to confirm their child’s vaccine status.
Hepatitis A is usually spread when a person ingests fecal matter, even in microscopic amounts, from contact with objects, food, or drinks contaminated by the feces or stool of an infected person. Signs and symptoms of hepatitis A can include the following:
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal discomfort
- Dark urine
- Clay-colored bowel movement
- Joint pain
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
Symptoms of the disease surface two to four weeks after exposure, although they can in some instances occur two to seven weeks after exposure. Children under 6 years of age with hepatitis A often do not have or show few signs and symptoms.