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Second confirmed hepatitis A case in less than a month

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Alberta Health Services has issued a public health alert after an individual with confirmed hepatitis A prepared food while infected at Zenbu Restaurant. Photo: Metro Creative Connection

Alberta Health Services (AHS) has confirmed a second hepatitis A case in Airdrie in less than a month, and has issued a public health alert.

The latest case occurred at Zenbu Restaurant, where an individual prepared food while infectious, according to AHS. Residents who ate at the restaurant between June 15 and 29 may have been exposed to hepatitis A, AHS stated, and are asked to contact Health Link at 811 "immediately for assessment of exposure risk." Immunization clinics will be host for those impacted.

"Immunization can only be provided within 14 days after an exposure and can prevent illness from occurring," the release stated. "The single dose of vaccine provided at the clinic is sufficient to protect a potentially affected individual from this hepatitis A exposure."

According to AHS, symptoms of the virus include tiredness, poor appetite, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain and fever. These may be followed by dark-coloured urine, light-coloured stools and yellowing of eyes and skin several days later. Some people, especially young children, may get hepatitis A infection without noticing any symptoms; however, they are still infectious to others, AHS said.

"Individuals who ate at this restaurant between June 15 and June 29, and who are experiencing the below symptoms at this time, should call their doctor or Health Link at 811, immediately," the release stated.

Anyone who believes they may have been exposed is advised to monitor for the above listed symptoms for 50 days after they last ate at the restaurant, according to AHS, as illness can occur from 15 to 50 days after exposure. If symptoms develop, call Health Link.

"Hepatitis A is an infection of the liver caused by a virus" the release stated. "Spread through the fecal-oral route, individuals primarily contract hepatitis A through direct contact with an infected person; however, individuals can also contract the illness indirectly by ingestion of contaminated food or water."

AHS said infected in individuals who do not properly wash their hands after using the washroom can transmit the virus through food and beverage preparation.

"AHS has inspected this facility and confirmed it has been cleaned and sanitized, and is operating safely," the release stated.




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