July 14, 2017 3:59 pm

Confirmed hepatitis A case prompts public alert in Taber

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A case of hepatitis A in Taber is prompting Alberta Health Services to warn residents in the area. AHS confirmed a case of hepatitis A in an individual who served food and drinks at the St. Mary School graduation banquet at the Taber Community Centre on June 30.

Those who attended the banquet and ate or drank the prepared items may have been exposed to hepatitis A.

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“While we believe the risk to the public is low, hepatitis A is a serious infection,” said AHS medical officer of health Dr. Lena Derie-Gillespie. “As a precaution, anyone who consumed food or drink at this location is advised to monitor themselves and their family for symptoms until Aug. 20, 2017.”

Hepatitis A is an infection of the liver caused by a virus. People primarily contract the infection through direct contact with an infected person; however, individuals can also contract the illness indirectly by eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

AHS says illness can occur within 15 to 20 days after exposure to the virus, but usually does within 28 to 30 days.

Symptoms may include tiredness, poor appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever, dark-coloured urine, light-coloured stools, yellowing of eyes and skin several days later.

Some people, especially young children, may get a hepatitis A infection without noticing any symptoms; however, they are still infectious to others.

If you develop any of these symptoms between June 30, 2017 and Aug. 20, 2017, you are advised to immediately contact Health Link at 811.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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