People vaccinated after possible Hepatitis A exposure at Aiken Brewing Company

According to DHEC: Customers and staff who ate at the restaurant between January 11 and January 20 are not likely to benefit from post-exposure treatment

Mid-Day Update: Patrons possibly exposed to Hepatitis A at Aiken Brewing Company

AIKEN, SC (WFXG) - South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control announced there are possible Hepatitis A exposures at an Aiken restaurant. DHEC says on January 31st it received notice that an employee of the Aiken Brewing Company tested positive for Hepatitis A.

Plenty of people, like Brad Crain, come to the Aiken Brewing Company to eat, drink and play. He’s just one person potentially impacted by an employee there that tested positive for Hepatitis A.

“That could be any restaurant in town ..., you can’t really blame the restaurant it’s not their fault, in my opinion,” Crane said.

The Mayo Clinic says you’re most likely to get Hepatitis A, a highly contagious liver disease, from contaminated food, water or close contact with a person or object that’s infected. South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is offering free vaccines for anyone who ate there between January 11th and January 26th.

DHEC and Aiken Brewing Company are investigating possible exposures and arranging preventive treatment for anyone who may be affected.

“Just being careful. I’m not really that worried. Just better safe than sorry but I think everything’s probably fine. Just wanted to get the vaccine just to make sure I’m covered,” said Crane.

He said he hasn't had any symptoms and doesn't know anyone who has.

“I think they notified the proper people. I’m sure I’ll be back.”

Hepatitis signs and symptoms don’t typically occur until you’ve had the virus for a few weeks. They can include fatigue, sudden nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain or discomfort, especially on the upper right side beneath your lower ribs (by your liver), clay-colored bowel movements, loss of appetite, low-grade fever, dark urine, joint pain, yellowing of the skin and the whites of your eyes (jaundice), intense itching, according to the Mayo Clinic.

South Carolina DHEC is offering no-cost Hepatitis A vaccine to those who may have been exposed. Customers and staff who ate food at the restaurant from Jan. 21 through Jan. 26 are asked to go to the Aiken County Health Department located at 222 Beaufort St. NE for treatment.

Post-exposure treatment is available on the following date and times:

  • Monday, Feb. 4, from 12-6 pm
  • Tuesday, Feb. 5, from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 6, from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
  • Thursday, Feb. 7, from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

DHEC says those who ate at the restaurant from Jan. 11 to Jan. 20, 2019 are not likely to benefit from post-exposure treatment. Anyone who ate during these dates are to look for symptoms of infection, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, belly pain or yellowing of the eyes and skin. DHEC advises to seek medical attention if any of these symptoms occur.

FOX 54 reached out to the owner of Aiken Brewing Company to find out about to the employee that tested positive. He declined to comment. The restaurant received an A rating from DHEC at the last inspection conducted on January 9, 2019.

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