The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) wants customers and staff of Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks in Hilton Head Island who were at the restaurant on Feb. 15, 2014, to contact their primary care provider to receive treatment for possible exposure to the Hepatitis A virus. On Friday, DHEC was notified that an employee who worked at the restaurant on the evening of Feb. 15 has tested positive for Hepatitis A. The employee is being treated for the infection and has not returned to work. Exposure to the Hepatitis A virus can cause an acute infection of the liver that is typically mild and resolves on its own. The symptoms and duration of illness vary a great deal, with many persons showing no symptoms at all. Fever and jaundice are two of the symptoms most commonly associated with a hepatitis A infection. Symptoms typically begin about 28 days after contracting Hepatitis A, but can begin as early as 15 days or as late as 50 days after exposure. The symptoms include muscle aches, headache, anorexia (loss of appetite), abdominal discomfort, fever, and malaise. Liver failure and death are rare, but can occur. “Hepatitis A is a liver disease that is caused by a virus,” said Anita Brock, director of DHEC’s Bureau of Disease Control. “People usually become sick within 15 to 50 days after being exposed to the virus, so it’s important to contact your doctor to get treatment as soon as possible to prevent the virus from developing into Hepatitis A infection.” Brock recommended that individuals who were present at the restaurant between 4 p.m. and closing on Feb. 15 contact their primary care provider to receive the post-exposure treatment for Hepatitis A no later than March 1. The treatment consists of a one-dose vaccine, which must be administered within 14 days of possible exposure to be effective.