Visitors may have been exposed to Hepatitis A at Indianapolis tea store

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 28, 2014)– The Marion County Public Health Department announces that visitors to an Indianapolis business during three Saturdays in April may have been exposed to Hepatitis A.

Anyone who visited and drank tea prepared at the Teavana store, 8702 Keystone Crossing, on Saturdays, April 5, 12 and 19 should watch for signs and symptoms of Hepatitis A. The public is advised to watch for signs and symptoms of Hepatitis A and contact a health care provider immediately if any symptoms are present.

Marion County Public Health Department director Dr. Virginia A. Caine says Hepatitis A is caused by a virus that inflames the liver. Hand washing is the best way to prevent the spread of Hepatitis A. Thorough hand washing after using the bathroom and before eating or preparing food can help lower the risk of getting the virus.

Signs and symptoms include:

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

Not everyone infected by the virus will exhibit all of these symptoms. Some people, especially children, may have no symptoms at all. However, all infected persons can transmit the disease to others.

People who visited and drank tea prepared at the store on Saturday, April 5 and Saturday, April 12 are beyond the incubation period of the virus and should watch for signs and symptoms of Hepatitis A. Anyone who visited the store and drank tea on Saturday, April 19 is still within the incubation period and should receive vaccine or immune globulin to prevent the disease. Those age 40 and under should receive Hepatitis A vaccine, while people over the age of 40 should receive immune globulin.

The Marion County Public Health Department will offer vaccine or immune globulin free of charge for individuals who visited the store and drank tea on Saturday, April 19. They should call the health department’s immunization program at 317-221-2122 to find out which district health office they should visit to receive the vaccine or immune globulin free of charge.

The Teavana staff has cooperated with the recommendations of the Marion County Public Health Department and has taken appropriate steps to clean and disinfect the store. Teavana joins the health department in this announcement to ensure the health and safety of its customers, which remains a major priority.

On average, fewer than five cases of Hepatitis A are reported to the Marion County Public Health Department each year. The number of cases remains relatively low due to the widespread use of a safe and effective vaccine. Anyone concerned about contracting Hepatitis A should consider receiving the two-dose vaccine series at one of health department’s district health offices or from their own health care provider.