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Public Health continues to encourage anyone who ate at Marj’s Village Kitchen (also referred to as Marj’s) in Alma between January 2 and January 20 to get a hepatitis A vaccination as soon as possible. If someone ate only baked goods they are not at risk.

To accommodate the numbers of people seeking a hepatitis A vaccination Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health is holding clinics at its Fergus location over the weekend. On Saturday, January 24 the clinic will run from 10 am to 3 pm. On Sunday, January 25 the clinic will run from 1 to 5 pm.

Public Health officials are asking anyone with questions about getting the vaccine or concern they have hepatitis A to call a special hepatitis A answer line at 519-823-4920. The phones will be answered over the weekend.

“Public Health’s job is to keep people as healthy and safe as possible so I am very encouraged by the public response,” said Dr. Mercer, Medical Officer of Health and CEO for Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health. “It is very important to get your vaccination as soon as possible after exposure. Our clinics are busy, but we are confident we have enough vaccine for everyone. Please don’t hesitate to come out.”

Hepatitis A is a virus that causes liver infection with symptoms that can last a few weeks to several months. Symptoms include fever, loss of appetite, tiredness, nausea and vomiting, dark urine and yellowing of the skin. The virus is rarely fatal and is not known to cause long-term infection.

Our Prenatal Series class scheduled for today (January 22, 2015)  at 7:00p.m in Fergus has been cancelled.

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health is advising anyone who ate at Marj’s Village Kitchen (also referred to as Marj’s) in Alma Ontario between January 2 and January 20 to get a hepatitis A vaccination as soon as possible. 

Dr. Nicola Mercer, Medical Officer of Health and CEO for WDG Public Health has confirmed that an employee of the restaurant has a confirmed case of hepatitis A and anyone who ate there in the first part of January could be at risk of infection.

Public Health will be holding free hepatitis A vaccine clinics for anyone who ate food from Marj’s Village Kitchen in the first 20 days of the month.

The clinics will be held at the Fergus Public Health offices on Thursday, January 22 from 3 to 7 pm, Friday, January 23 from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm and Saturday, January 24 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. Public Health officials are asking anyone with questions about getting the vaccine or concern they have hepatitis A to call a 1-800-265-7293 ext4920 or dial our direct hep A answer-line at 519-823-4920 if you have any questions about getting the vaccine or any concerns you might have about hepatitis A.

“The risk of exposure is low, but anyone who ate at this restaurant in the first half of January should get a vaccination as a precaution,” said Dr. Mercer.  “Symptoms can develop 15 to 50 days after exposure to the virus and can range from mild to severe.  Infants and the elderly can get quite sick. It is important to get your vaccine as soon as possible.”

Hepatitis A is a virus that causes liver infection with symptoms that can last a few weeks to several months.  Symptoms include fever, loss of appetite, tiredness, nausea and vomiting, dark urine and yellowing of the skin.  The virus is rarely fatal and is not known to cause long-term infection.

Fergus Public Health Office is located at 474 Wellington Road #18, Suite 100 in Fergus (in the same building as Wellington Terrace)

Background

What is hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is a virus that causes liver infection. Symptoms can last a few weeks to several months. The virus is not known to cause long-term (chronic) infection and is rarely fatal. Most people usually develop lifetime immunity following infection.

What are the symptoms? 

Symptoms can begin 15-50 days after you are infected, although it is possible that you may be infected and not have any symptoms. The severity of symptoms can range from mild to severe and can last for 3-6 weeks.

Symptoms can include fever, stomach pain or discomfort, dark urine, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, tiredness, loss of appetite, clay or ash-coloured bowel movements, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes).

How does it spread?

The virus is usually found in the feces (stool) of a person infected with hepatitis A. It can be spread from person to person when hands are not properly washed following contact with infected stool (e.g., after using the toilet or changing a diaper). The virus can also be spread by eating food or drinking water contaminated by an infected food handler, or by eating shellfish harvested from water contaminated with sewage

How is hepatitis A prevented?

In order to stop the virus from spreading:

  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly using soap and water. This is especially important after using the bathroom or changing a diaper, and before preparing or eating food.
  • Hand washing is the single most important means of preventing the spread of disease.
  • Avoid sharing common items such as cups and finger foods such as popcorn.
  • Always wash fresh fruit and vegetables such as strawberries and lettuce.
  • Get vaccinated for hepatitis A, especially if you travel to countries where the virus is known to be common (areas in Central and South America, Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe).
  • Travellers can further minimize the risk of contracting hepatitis A by avoiding untreated water and ice made from untreated water; uncooked shellfish; unwashed or uncooked fruit or vegetables.                 

 

CPNP scheduled for today (January 13, 2015) in Guelph has been cancelled due to the extreme cold warning issued by Environment Canada.

Visit our CPNP page for further program details.

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