The infected person is an employee at Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks, who worked at the restaurant on February 15th. The employee had not been at the restaurant for some time prior to that evening and only worked the one night. They sought medical attention afterwards and subsequently tested positive for Hepatitis A virus, which was reported to DHEC health officials last Friday.
The restaurant and the agency have been working together to contact those who worked and dined at the establishment on the 15th, as they could have been exposed to the virus. The employee is still being treated and has not yet returned to work. The agency is advising those who may have been exposed to seek treatment from their medical provider, in the form of a post-exposure vaccine, by March 1st. The restaurant has also been proactive in posting information for the public on their website and Facebook page.
Vaccination (or immunoglobulin injection) is a common recommendation in these circumstances, as there is still time for the vaccine to prevent or at least lessen the symptoms (which include fever, jaundice, vomiting, and weakness) before they start. This is because the average incubation time (the period between becoming infected and showing clinical signs) for Hepatitis A virus is about a month. You can learn more about Hepatitis A virus at the CDC’s website.
Feb. 25 UPDATE: No cases of HAV from this potential exposure have been reported, and the employee is said to be recovering well. The DHEC will administer HAV vaccines by appointment for those who were potentially exposed but are unable to receive them from their primary care provider.