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Your questions answered

It is a liver infection caused by the Hepatitis A virus.

A food handler at the restaurant was diagnosed with Hepatitis A earlier in March. We notified the public about this on March 11 and offered the Hepatitis A vaccine to those who may have been exposed at that time.

The health unit has now been notified of a second case of Hepatitis A in an additional food handler who worked at the restaurant.

Exposure to the virus can happen in many ways. Hepatitis A is spread from person-to-person by putting something in the mouth that has been contaminated with the stool/poo of a person that has the disease. The virus can contaminate food, drinks, surfaces, and everyday objects. Once infected, a person can pass the virus to others for two weeks or more before they even know they are sick.

The vaccine is about 85% effective at preventing symptoms when used within two weeks of exposure, with the effectiveness greater when used soon after exposure The vaccine can prevent the spread of the virus to your family, friends or colleagues. Individuals who have received two doses of the Hepatitis A vaccine or have previously had Hepatitis A infection, will have immunity from the disease, and do not require further vaccine for this exposure.

We recommend that anyone who worked at, dined or had takeout from the Family Place Restaurant and Pizza during any of the identified periods of time receive Hepatitis A immunizations as soon as possible. The identified periods of time are:

  • Thursday March 12 8:00 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Friday March 13 9:00 a.m. – 3 p.m. 
  • Sunday March 15 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Because the vaccine is no longer effective more than 14 days after exposure, other patrons who dined or had takeout at the restaurant at the dates and times below should monitor for symptoms of Hepatitis A and contact their health care provider if they experience symptoms:

  • Thursday March 5 9:00 a.m. – 3 p.m. 
  • Friday March 6 9:00 a.m. – 3 p.m. 
  • Sunday March 8 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. 
  • Tuesday March 10 8 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. 
  • Wednesday March 11 8 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. 

Testing is not needed before you get the vaccine. It is highly recommended that anyone who ate food at the restaurant during any of the specified periods receive a Hepatitis A immunization as soon as possible.
No, if you have a child who is less than 6 months old they get a product called immune globulin instead of the Hepatitis A vaccine. We recommended that these children be brought to your local hospital for treatment, as it is only available in hospitals.

The Hepatitis A virus is contagious. Symptoms may include fever, nausea, loss of appetite, abdominal discomfort, followed by signs of jaundice (yellowness of the skin, and/or eyes). Small children usually have mild or no symptoms. Some people who may not have strong immune systems or liver disease can be at greater risk for more severe complications due to the Hepatitis A virus.

There is no specific treatment for Hepatitis A. Most people do not require hospitalization. People with Hepatitis A generally stay at home and rest until they feel better. Alcoholic beverages should not be consumed during the early part of infection.

Symptoms of Hepatitis A usually develop about four weeks after exposure to the virus, although this period can range from 15 to 50 days. You can spread the virus to others even before you develop symptoms therefore washing your hands is always important.
If you successfully completed a Hepatitis A immunization series or Twinrix, or if you have received the vaccine in the last month, you do not require the vaccine. If you are unsure about how many doses you received call Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520 ext 8827 or call your health care provider to discuss.
No, you do not need to be immunized for Hepatitis A at this time.for this exposure, but if you want to prevent future infections from potential future exposures, you can speak to your pharmacist or health care provider to be immunized.
Please call Health Connection 705-721-7520 (1-877-721-7520) ext 8827 or your health care provider to talk about getting the Hepatitis A vaccine.
It is recommended that if you have symptoms that you call Health Connection or your health care provider about the symptoms and possible testing. If you end up diagnosed with Hepatitis A, most people do not require hospitalization. You should then stay home and rest until you feel better. At that time you will be contacted by public health and should avoid preparing food for others and also follow good personal hygiene, including frequent proper hand washing after using the toilet.
If you have Hepatitis A, and you are a food handler, healthcare, child care worker or a caregiver, you should not go to work while you are having symptoms. In addition, you may have to stop working for one to two weeks after symptoms start. Children in child care settings who have Hepatitis A may also need to stay home for a period of time after symptoms start.
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