HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. -- A Hernando County country club hosted two high school proms while a food service employee had hepatitis A.
The worker may have exposed patrons between April 12 and April 30, according to DOH-Hernando. Springstead High School in Spring Hill and Central High School in Brooksville both held their proms at the Silverthorn Country Club Restaurant during that time frame.
Upon learning the news, dozens of parents and students lined up outside Florida Health Hernando County to receive a free vaccination shot.
“I was so scared," said Springstead High senior Kyla Rivera.
“It was very scary," said fellow senior Ashley Lopez. "What goes through your mind is you could be sick, you could spread it really quick.”
ABC Action News has learned, hepatitis A cases are on the rise in Tampa Bay and statewide.
Hernando County typically sees about one to two cases a year.
In 2019, the county has treated 39 cases of hepatitis A, according to Virginia Crandall, Director of Nursing at Florida Department of Health Hernando County.
Crandall says the cases are more severe, too. About 80 percent of people who test positive are hospitalized due to the disease.
Florida Department of Health Hernando County is offering free vaccinations until 7 p.m. every weeknight through next Wednesday.
The facility is located at 7551 Forest Oaks Boulevard in Spring Hill.