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Questions answered

What is Hepatitis A?

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

How was I exposed to this virus?

A food handler at the restaurant has been diagnosed with Hepatitis A.  Exposure to the virus can happen in many ways.  The Hepatitis A virus is easily spread from person to person.  People who have the virus may contaminate food, drink, surfaces, and objects that you come into contact with every day.

How can the vaccine protect me if I’ve already been exposed?

The vaccine is 80% effective at preventing symptoms when used within one week of exposure. The vaccine can prevent the spread of the virus to your family, friends or colleagues. We recommend that anyone who ate or drank at the State & Main restaurant during any of the identified periods of time receive Hepatitis A immunizations as soon as possible.  The identified periods of time are:

  • Friday, June 21, 5p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, June 27, 4:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
  • Friday, June 28, 10:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 29, 4:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, July 4, 5:30 p.m. – 8:45 p.m.
  • Friday, July 5, 6:30 p.m. – midnight
  • Wednesday, July 10, 3:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, July 11, 4:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Should I get tested before getting the vaccine?

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. 

Can I bring my child (less than 6 months) to the clinics being held by the health unit to receive the vaccine?

No, if you have a child that 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.

Is the restaurant safe to eat at?

The restaurant has and continues to work very closely with the health unit. There is no immediate health hazard at the restaurant therefore they can continue to operate.   The restaurant is currently following all health unit recommendations. Hepatitis A transmission is not a direct reflection on the restaurant, this disease can happen at any time in any setting.

How serious is Hepatitis A?

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 little to no or mild 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. People with Hepatitis A should stay home and rest until they feel better. Alcoholic beverages should not be consumed during the early part of infection.

When do you get sick?

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 hand hygiene is always important.

I have my Hepatitis A vaccine or Twinrix.  Do I still need to be immunized?

If you successfully completed a Hepatitis A immunization series or Twinrix, it is unlikely you will 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 5829, or call your health care provider to discuss.

I did not eat at the restaurant during any of the periods of time identified, do I still need to be immunized?

No you do not need to be immunized for Hepatitis A at this time.

I can’t make it to any of the immunization clinics you have listed what should I do?

Please call Health Connection or your health care provider to talk about getting the Hepatitis A vaccine.

I have some of the symptoms listed above, what should I do?

It is recommended that if you have symptoms that you call Health Connection or your health care provider about the symptoms and possible testing.  You should stay home and rest until you feel better.  If you have symptoms, you should avoid preparing food for others and also follow good personal hygiene, including frequent proper hand washing after using the toilet.

Is there anything special I need to know?

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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