Islanders warned of Hepatitis A alert

  • Apr. 29, 2004 8:00 p.m.

A case of Hepatitis A has been confirmed in an individual who worked in the Bayview Market vegetable department in Port Clements.

While the risk is low, it is possible for Hepatitis A virus to be passed on to individuals through raw fruits and vegetables. A safe, effective Hepatitis A vaccine is available which reduces the risk of illness provided vaccination is received within 2 weeks of coming into contact with the virus.

Any one who purchased produce from the Bayview Market between April 16 and April 26, and ate without cooking (salads, vegetable plates, fruit ) will be eligible for the vaccine as they may be at some increased risk for contracting Hepatitis A.

Northern Health will be offering Hepatitis A vaccine as follows:
Where: Port Clements Health Clinic (next to Port Elementary school)
When: Friday, April 30th from 10 – 1, 2-4:30 and 6-9.
Saturday, May 1 from 10 – 12 and 1-4

People who may have been in contact with the virus prior to April 16th need to be alert for symptoms. Even those who receive the vaccine need to watch for symptoms as the vaccine will not prevent an infection that has already begun.

Symptoms include: nausea, tiredness, fever, dark urine, pale feces, yellowing of skin and eyes. If you experience any of these symptoms please contact a physician and do not handle or serve food for others until a diagnosis is established.

The most reliable way to avoid Hepatitis A infections is thorough and frequent handwashing especially after toiletting and before handling food.