HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (WCBD) – State health officials say customers who dined at the Harbour Town Yacht Club on Hilton Head Island might have been exposed to the hepatitis A virus.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control was notified on June 17, 2019 that an employee of the yacht club tested positive for hepatitis A.
They said guests who ate at three events at the Yacht Club could have been exposed. Those 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.
In a press release this week, Dr. Linda Bell, physician and state epidemiologist, said this is not a foodborne outbreak; the concern is with the food handlers who are infected and not with the yacht club.
The risk of the hepatitis A virus spreading from an infected employee to customers in a restaurant setting is low, Dr. Bell said. “The real concern in South Carolina is the spread of hepatitis A among high-risk groups and people who live with and have close contact to a person with hepatitis A.”
Dr. Bell went on to say, “DHEC has been working to vaccinate and educate people in high-risk groups to prevent a widespread outbreak.”
The yacht club received an A rating from DHEC at the last inspection conducted March 8, 2019.