April 1, 2012
FOR UPDATES, PLEASE CHECK THE HEPATITIS A WEB PAGE.
VICTORIA – Additional hepatitis A public drop-in clinics will be available Monday April 2 through Thursday April 5, 2012 for Fairway Markets Quadra location employees and for eligible members of the general public who have consumed non-pre-packaged food from that store’s delicatessen. Clinics will operate from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday at the Victoria Public Health Unit, 1947 Cook Street. This follows confirmation that a food handler in the delicatessen has tested positive for the disease.
VIHA Public Health recommends members of the public who consumed delicatessen food that was not pre-packaged from the Fairway Markets Quadra location on March 19, 20, 22, 25 or 26, 2012 should receive hepatitis A vaccine as a precaution.
Hepatitis A vaccine can prevent hepatitis A virus infection, but only when given within 14 days of exposure. For example, on Tuesday, April 3, to be eligible for free vaccine food from the deli would have had to be consumed on March 20, 22, 25 or 26. Persons who have had hepatitis A in the past, or who have previously received two doses of the vaccine are protected from the disease and do not need to be vaccinated.
This alert DOES NOT apply to produce or other foods purchased from other areas of the grocery store or deli items and food products from any of the other seven Fairway Markets grocery outlets located in Victoria or on Vancouver Island.
Symptoms of hepatitis A include fever, tiredness, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. These symptoms are followed a few days later by the occurrence of dark-coloured urine, light-coloured stools and jaundice (yellow eyes/skin). Anyone who develops these symptoms should stay home from school, work, daycare or other activities and avoid preparing food for others. They should also contact a physician or HealthLink BC by dialing 811.
Individuals who live outside the Victoria area and who are eligible for the vaccine should contact their local Public Health Unit. Contact information for Public Health Units can be found here.
Hepatitis A is a virus that affects the liver. The virus can be found in the bowel movements (stool) of infected people. It can spread through close personal contact, or contaminated food that has been handled by an infected person. Frequent, thorough handwashing with warm water and soap for 20 seconds is key to stopping the spread of hepatitis.
For more information on hepatitis A visit:
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VIHA Communications, 250-713-3911