Tuesday, June 18, 2019
Harbour Town Yacht Club, Hilton Head
Customers who ate at Harbour Town Yacht Club at 140 Lighthouse Road, Hilton Head Island, might have been exposed to the hepatitis A virus. DHEC was notified on June 17, 2019, that an employee of the yacht club tested positive for hepatitis A. Guests who ate at three events at the yacht club could have been exposed. The events included a social on June 8, a dinner on June 13 and a wedding party on June 14. DHEC is working with Harbour Town to investigate possible exposures and provide guidance for preventive treatment for anyone who may be affected.
Post-exposure vaccination should be considered for individuals who have not been vaccinated if it can be given within two weeks from their date of consuming anything from the establishment. People who ate food from the Harbour Town Yacht Club in Hilton Head on June 8, June 13 or June 14, 2019, may contact their medical provider or pharmacy about post exposure treatment. In South Carolina, adults 18 years and older can get vaccinated at some local pharmacies without a prescription, depending on your insurance coverage.
This illness is not a foodborne outbreak.
DHEC’s local health departments also provide hepatitis A vaccines. Individuals can schedule an appointment for vaccination at their local health department by calling 855-472-3432.
The vaccine is not shown to prevent infection when administered more than 14 days after a specific exposure. However, vaccination more than 14 days after exposure will give long-lasting protection from future exposures. Those who attended the June 8 event at the yacht club who would like to consider vaccination have until June 22 to do so. Those who attended the June 13 have until June 27. Those who attended the June 14 event have until June 28.
Customers who ate at Popeyes at 954 York St. NE, Aiken, might have been exposed to the hepatitis A virus. DHEC was notified on June 17, 2019, that an employee of the restaurant tested positive for hepatitis A. Customers who ate there between May 29 and June 12, 2019, could have been exposed to the virus. DHEC is working with Popeyes to investigate possible exposures and provide guidance for preventive treatment for anyone who may be affected.
People who ate food from the Popeyes between June 4 and June 12, 2019, may contact their medical provider or pharmacy about post exposure treatment.
This illness is not a foodborne outbreak.
Restaurant patrons who were potentially exposed also can visit the Aiken County Health Department located at 222 Beaufort St. NE in Aiken from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday (June 19), Thursday (June 20), and Friday (June 21). No appointments are necessary.
As of today, customers and staff who ate at the restaurant between May 29 and June 3 are not likely to benefit from post-exposure treatment. Anyone who ate at the restaurant between these dates should watch for symptoms of infection, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain or yellowing of the eyes and skin. People usually become sick within two to six weeks after being exposed to the virus. Seek medical care if symptoms develop.
DHEC declared a statewide hepatitis A outbreak on May 13, 2019, based on a steady increase in cases. Between Nov. 1, 2018, and June 14, 2019, 147 hepatitis A cases have been reported. Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus. Most people who get hepatitis A feel sick for several weeks, but they usually recover completely and do not have lasting liver damage. Certain individuals are at greater risk for severe hepatitis A infection and are encouraged to seek vaccination. Those individuals include anyone with a weakened immune system, liver disease (such as hepatitis B or C) or anyone who abuses injection or non-injection drugs.
If patrons of the club or restaurant have questions or concerns, they may contact DHEC’s Careline at 1-855-4SC-DHEC (1-855-472-3432). Careline staff will be available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. to answer your questions. For more information on hepatitis A, visit the DHEC website or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
Talk to your medical provider about the hepatitis A vaccine. In South Carolina, adults 18 years and older can get vaccinated at some local pharmacies without a prescription, depending on your insurance coverage. To search for a nearby pharmacy that offers vaccines, visit www.vaccinefinder.org.
DHEC’s local health departments also provide hepatitis A vaccines. DHEC has an Adult Vaccine Program that provides low-cost vaccines for uninsured or underinsured individuals who are 19 years and older.
DHEC’s local health departments are currently providing no-cost hepatitis A vaccines to individuals in at-risk groups (drug users, homeless, recently incarcerated, and men who have sex with men).
- June 18, 2019: Harbour Town Yacht Club, Lighthouse Road, Hilton Head & Popeyes, York Street, Aiken
- June 3, 2019: Zaxby's, Tanger Outlet Blvd., North Charleston
- May 30, 2019: Teriyaki Japan, Edgefield Road, North Augusta
- May 21, 2019: Wild Wing Cafe, Bower Parkway, Lexington County
- Feb. 13, 2019: City Billiards, Aiken
- Feb. 4, 2019: Aiken Brewing Company, Laurens Street SW, Aiken
For more information on hepatitis A, visit the DHEC website or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.