July 1, 2014 6:02 pm

Visitors to Saskatchewan motel warned of hepatitis A case

Small risk of hepatitis A exists for people who ate or drank at a Saskatchewan resort motel in June.

Scott Barbour/ Getty Images

RIVERHURST, Sask. – There’s a small chance that visitors to a Saskatchewan resort motel last month may have been exposed to hepatitis A.

Health officials said a person with a disease stayed at the Mainstay Inn Motel and Restaurant near Riverhurst between June 1 and 22 has the disease.

During that time period, an estimated 1,100 people may have been exposed.

Of greatest concern is anyone who ate or drank at the location between June 18 and 22; unvaccinated visitors may need to be immunized, say health officials.

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“Hepatitis A is not a common disease in Saskatchewan, so we do take cases very seriously and do detailed investigation and follow up,” said Dr. Denise Werker, Saskatchewan’s deputy medical officer.

“Public health officials at the local, provincial and national levels are working closely to ensure that those at risk are notified and that they understand what action they should take.”

Werker said the risk for contracting the disease through this exposure is low, but not zero.

It can take two to seven weeks for symptoms to appear although people become infectious to others prior to the onset of symptoms.

Symptoms include feeling tired, losing weight without trying, pain on right side of belly under the rib cage, a fever, sore muscles or yellow skin.

In most cases, hepatitis A will go away on its own and most people get well within a few months. In some cases, those infected with the disease may require hospitalization.

Health officials are advising anyone who visited the motel to contact a health care professional to have their vaccination records checked or to see if they need a vaccine.

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