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Health unit warning residents after hepatitis A case detected at Milton, Ont. restaurant

Health unit warning residents after hepatitis A case detected at Milton, Ont. restaurant - image
Halton Region

Halton Region Public Health is warning residents of possible exposure after a case of hepatitis A was detected in an employee at a restaurant in Milton, Ont.

The health unit said a case of the disease was confirmed in a food handler who worked at Chopped Leaf, located on Main Street East.

According to the health unit, customers who visited the restaurant between July 30 and Aug. 5 or from Aug. 8 to Aug. 14 may have been exposed.

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“The restaurant is working closely with Halton Region Public Health,” a news release read. “The premises has been inspected and is compliant with public health standards.“

Dr. Hamidah Meghani, medical officer of health for Halton Region, said officials believe the “risk of transmission is low.”

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“However, as a precaution, exposed people should monitor for signs and symptoms for 50 days,” Meghani said in a statement.

“The disease can result in a liver infection and can be a greater health risk for older adults and those with liver disease. The hepatitis A vaccine is an effective protection against the disease.”

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According to the health unit, a hepatitis A vaccine administered within 14 days of exposure “may prevent the disease.”

“Individuals who have already received two doses of the hepatitis A vaccine or have had hepatitis A infection will have immunity from the disease and do not require the vaccine,” the news release said.

The health unit said it “strongly recommends” that anyone who ate or drank at the restaurant from Aug. 8 to Aug. 14 receive the hepatitis A vaccine “if they do not already have prior immunity from vaccination or hepatitis A infection.”

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The health unit said free vaccine clinics are being held at 180 Market Dr. on the following dates:

  • Aug. 20 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Aug. 21 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Aug. 22 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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The health unit said anyone who ate or drank at the restaurant between July 30 and Aug. 5 should “monitor for symptoms” and contact their health care provider if they experience symptoms.

Symptoms of the disease include fever, general feeling of discomfort, illness or uneasiness, abdominal discomfort, loss of appetite, tiredness, nausea and vomiting, dark urine and jaundice.

According to the health unit, the disease is caused by a virus that attacks the liver.

“Symptoms usually occur within 28 to 30 days after the virus enters the body, but they can begin any time between 15 to 50 days after exposure,” the news release read. “Hepatitis A is spread from person-to-person by putting something in the mouth that has been contaminated with the stool of a person that has the disease.”

The health unit said an infected person can pass the virus to others for two weeks or more before they are even aware that they are ill.

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