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Jefferson County Public Health warns of potential hepatitis A exposure at Wheat Ridge King Soopers

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Posted at 7:46 PM, Apr 06, 2022

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. — Jefferson County Public Health is warning shoppers of a potential exposure to hepatitis A at a Wheat Ridge King Soopers.

The exposure involves the King Soopers located at 5301 West 38th Avenue in Wheat Ridge.

A food handler at the location tested positive for hepatitis A, according to JCPH. Hepatitis A can be transmitted by eating food directly handled by that employee.

JCPH said this is an isolated incident and is related to international travel, not local disease transmission. No other King Soopers locations are affected, according to JCPH.

Shoppers may be at risk of exposure if they purchased and consumed deli meats and/or cheeses sliced on-site at the deli between March 20 and March 30. Shoppers may also be at risk if they consumed on-site sandwiches that contained deli meats and/or cheeses.

According to JCPH, those confirmed to be at risk should:

  • Assess their vaccination status for hepatitis A.
    • Full vaccination includes two doses of the hepatitis A vaccine given six months apart, or three doses of the hepatitis A & hepatitis B (Twinrix) vaccine.
  • If not fully vaccinated against hepatitis A:
    • Consumers who ate onsite-prepared deli meats, cheeses and/or sandwiches within the last 14 days should seek post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), which is comprised of either vaccination against hepatitis A and/or, for certain high-risk individuals, hepatitis A immunoglobulin.
  • Regardless of current hepatitis A vaccination status: 
    • Continue monitoring for symptoms of infection. If symptoms are present, seek medical care.  

Symptoms of hepatitis A include acute onset of fever, gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain, dark urine, clay-colored stool and jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Hepatitis A can have an incubation period of up to 50 days after exposure, according to JCPH. Those who are at-risk should monitor for symptoms throughout the entire window.

The virus can be transmitted for up to two weeks before symptom onset and one week before jaundice onset.

“The good news is that infection with hepatitis A can largely be prevented even after direct exposure, through vaccination or, when indicated, post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP),” said Melanie Rogers, RN, MPH, epidemiologist and lead infectious disease investigator at JCPH. “Our department, in collaboration with other local public health agencies in neighboring communities, will be offering hepatitis A vaccines and PEP at no cost to those who think they may have been exposed. If you think you may be at risk, we encourage you to visit one of the available walk-in clinics.”

The following locations will begin offering hepatitis A vaccinations and PEP walk-in clinics:

  • Jefferson County Public Health building at 645 Parfet Street, Lakewood, CO 80215
    • Thursday, April 7 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
    • Friday, April 8 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Tri-County Health Department at 122nd Avenue #200, Westminster, CO 80234
    • Thursday, April 7th: 8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
    • Thursday, April 7th: 1:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
    • Friday, April 8th: 8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
    • Tuesday, April 12th: 8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
    • Tuesday, April 12th: 1:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
  • Public Health Institute at Denver Health at 660 N. Bannock Street, Pavilion L — 2nd Floor, Denver, CO 80204
    • Thursday April 7 from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
    • Friday, April 8 from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Any further questions can be directed to the JCPH clinic at 303-239-7078.

To learn more about hepatitis A, click here.