GLOUCESTER TWP., New Jersey (WPVI) -- Officials in Camden County, New Jersey are offering hepatitis A vaccines to residents after an employee at a Starbucks in Gloucester Township tested positive for the disease.
Thousands of residents may have been impacted.
The vaccine clinic was held Friday at the county sustainability facility on Lakeland Road. There will be another one on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
The line was very long. Officials say this is just for folks who are not immunized against hepatitis A.
Edward Rainas of Blackwood got in line early, saying he goes to that location all the time. He found out about the exposure from local media reports after the Camden County Health Department notified the public.
"I was upset a little bit that Starbucks didn't notify anybody or put up any paperwork stating that you could've possibly been exposed, which is not good," he said.
County officials say they learned of the positive case at the store on Blackwood Clementon Road on Wednesday, and say the store was shut down and cleaned on Thursday.
The entire staff was also vaccinated. Now just the drive-through is open.
"It's very shocking to even know how many people could've been affected," said B.J. Stokes of Clementine.
A Starbucks spokesperson released a statement Friday saying that the health and safety of employees and the community is a priority, and that they are closely working with the Camden County Health Department to comply with all requirements.
The county is encouraging anyone who visited the store between Nov. 4 -6 or between Nov. 11-13 to get vaccinated if they aren't already immunized against hepatitis A.
Most children are likely already vaccinated as part of their routine childhood shots. Adults who are unsure of their vaccination status should ask their doctor.
The virus is a disease that attacks the liver.
"It's fecal-oral, meaning somebody just didn't wash their hands and transmitted it," Dr. Mark Condoluci, an Infectious Disease Physician at Jefferson Health New Jersey.
Condoluci says while the virus is generally mild, there are steps you should take to prevent it from spreading.
"Transmission within the household can happen if you were to have it, so making sure that you clean countertops, and maybe not sharing food or maybe not sharing drinks, etc.," he said.
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)
A county spokesperson says the health department will be checking with Starbucks management to make sure signs are put up.
The county says they have about 600 shots for the two clinics Friday and Saturday, and more are on order to arrive next week. They also say pharmacies and primary care physicians can administer these shots as well.