Health department: Visitors to Teavana may have been exposed to Hepatitis A

Those who drank tea April 5, 12 or 19 at risk

INDIANAPOLIS - Officials with the Marion County Public Health Department announced Monday that shoppers who visited a local Teavana store may have been exposed to Hepatitis A.

Health officials said anyone who visited and drank tea from the store at The Fashion Mall at Keystone on April 5, 12 or 19 (all Saturdays) should watch for signs and symptoms.

Officials said an infected worker was on the job those days. The issue has concerned customers.

"That concerns me a lot.  I'm not sure if the employee knew and should have informed their boss or if they did so knowingly.  Whenever someone has a communicable disease, people should know about it, and you should not be at work," customer Melinda Humphrey said.

Officials said it's possible to not experience all the symptoms. Anyone who does should call a doctor immediately. Signs and symptoms may include:

• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Loss of appetite
• Abdominal pain
• Fever
• Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)

Hepatitis A is caused by a virus that inflames the liver, MCPHD director Dr. Virginia Caine said. Caine said washing hands is the best way to prevent the spread of the virus. 

"What we are concerned about are individuals who might have underlying chronic conditions, or even Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C -- diseases that are already impacting the liver. This virus might be hard for them to deal with," said Melissa McMasters with the Immunization and Infectious Disease Program.

Officials said in a statement that those who visited and drank tea made at the store on April 5 or April 12 are beyond the incubation period and should watch for signs and symptoms.

Anyone who visited the store and drank tea on April 19 is still within the incubation period and should receive a vaccine or immune globulin to prevent the disease, officials said.

Health department officials said those younger than 40 should receive the vaccine and those older than 40 should receive the immune globulin.

The MCPHD will offer a free vaccine or immune globulin for those who visited the store and drank tea on April 19. Call the department’s immunization program at 317-221-2122 for more information.

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