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Starbucks employee in Pinellas County tested positive for Hepatitis A in October 2018

Posted: 4:04 PM, May 23, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-03 16:51:02-04
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PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. -- A local Starbucks employee tested positive for Hepatitis A.

Our ABC Action News I-Team just uncovered another case of Hepatitis A in the bay area and it was at a popular coffee chain.

The Starbuck's Store at 33086 US Highway 19 North in Palm Harbor had an employee test positive for the contagious virus in October 2018.

On Thursday, ABC Action News anchor Wendy Ryan spoke to a Starbucks' spokesperson who told her after the Hepatitis A case was identified that month, the store took immediate action to minimize the risks, as required by the health department.

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The corporate office said Starbucks made sure all employees either received a Hepatitis A vaccine or had proof of a negative test and no other health-related issues came up following these procedures. The health department cleared the store to be fully operational.

Hepatitis A has become an epidemic in the bay area and the state with more than 1,700 confirmed cases in Florida since January 2018.

The Hepatitis A virus is spread when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food or drinks that have been contaminated with small undetected amounts of stool from an infected person.

Pinellas County Health Department is offering Hepatitis A vaccines to the public at no cost at several vaccine centers. For more information on where you can get these free vaccines in Pinellas County, you can click here . Other Florida counties, including Hillsborough, also provide free or discounted Hepatitis A vaccines. You can click here for more information .

For more information on Hepatitis A and guidelines from the federal government, visit: www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hav/index.htm.

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