The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control to warn people who may have been exposed to hepatitis A at a Hilton Head restaurant after a restaurant worker tested positive for hepatitis A.
Customers and staff who visited or ate at Hudsons Seafood House on the Docks in Hilton Head Island on the evening of February 15, 2014 may be at risk for contracting hepatitis A.
Individuals who were present at the restaurant or ate food served between 4 p.m. and closing time (10 p.m.) should contact their healthcare provider to receive post-exposure treatment for hepatitis A. In order to be effective, the vaccine must be received no later than March 1, 2014 (14 days after potential exposure to the virus)
Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease. It can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months. Occasionally, the disease can be fatal. 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. Given health codes and sanitary procedures in restaurants, most people do not get sick when a foodworker has hepatitis A. However, its important that those who ate at this restaurant to see their healthcare provider within 14 days and get vaccinated as recommended by CDC unless already vaccinated.
People who may have been exposed are encouraged to call the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control at 1-800-868-0404. Operators are available weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 6 pm.