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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Februar 22, 2014

DHEC Advises of Possible Hepatitis A Exposure at Hilton Head Restaurant

HILTON HEAD, S.C. -- Customers and staff of Hudson's Seafood House on the Docks in Hilton Head Island who were present at the restaurant on the evening of February 15, 2014, are encouraged to contact their primary care provider to receive treatment for possible exposure to the Hepatitis A virus, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control announced today.

On Friday, DHEC was notified that an employee who worked at the restaurant on the evening of February 15 has tested positive for Hepatitis A. The employee is being treated for the infection and has not returned to work.

"Hepatitis A is a liver disease that is caused by a virus," said Anita Brock, Director of DHEC's Bureau of Disease Control. "People usually become sick within 15 to 50 days after being exposed to the virus, so it's important to contact your doctor to get treatment as soon as possible to prevent the virus from developing into Hepatitis A infection."

The restaurant is working closely with DHEC to identify and contact customers and staff who may have been exposed to the virus. It is important for the public to know that this is not a food-borne outbreak.

"Hudson's Restaurant has a long history of 'A' compliance ratings and safe food service," said owner Brian Carmines. "We are determined to take whatever steps DHEC recommends to ensure the safety of our customers and staff."

Brock recommended that individuals who were present at the restaurant on February 15, between 4 p.m. and closing, contact their primary care provider to receive the post-exposure treatment for Hepatitis A no later than March 1. The treatment consists of a one dose vaccine, which must be administered within fourteen (14) days of possible exposure to be effective.

If anyone has a question or concern, they are encouraged to call DHEC at 1-800-868-0404. Operators are available Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

For more information about Hepatitis A, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/Hepatitis/A/index.htm.

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Mark Plowden
mark.plowden@dhec.sc.gov
Communications Director
803.898.9518