BREAKING: Case Of Hepatitis A Confirmed At Huntsville Restaurant

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Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit was notified of a case of Hepatitis A in a food handler, who worked at the Family Place Restaurant and Pizza, 1 King William St., Huntsville on certain dates and times between February 19th and March 7th, 2020.

“We believe the risk of transmission is low; however, as a precaution, exposed people should monitor for signs and symptoms for 50 days,” said Dr. Colin Lee, Associate Medical Officer of Health. “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.”

Hepatitis A vaccine given within 14 days of exposure may prevent the disease. Individuals who have received two doses of the Hepatitis A vaccine or have previously had Hepatitis A infection, will have immunity from the disease, and do not require further vaccine.

SMDHU strongly recommends that anyone who worked at, dined or had takeout from the restaurant on the following times and dates receive the Hepatitis A vaccine:

  • Feb 26:                                    5:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Feb 27, 28, 29, Mar 1st:          8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • March 4:                                  6 a.m. – 8 a.m.
  • March 7:                                  8 a.m. – 9 a.m.

Free immunization clinics are being held at the Canada Summit Centre (Active Living Centre located at the back of the Summit Centre), 20 Park Drive, Huntsville, on:

  • Wednesday, March 11:          2 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Thursday, March 12:              10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Friday, March 13:              10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Because the vaccine is no longer effective more than 14 days after exposure, other customers who dined or had takeout at the restaurant at the dates and times below should monitor for symptoms of Hepatitis A and contact their health care provider if they experience symptoms:

  • Feb 19:                                    5:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Feb 21:                                    8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Feb 22, 23:                              6 a.m. – 2 p.m.

The restaurant is working closely with the health unit and this occurrence is not a direct reflection on the restaurant, as this disease can happen at any time in any setting. It has been inspected and is compliant with public health standards.

Hepatitis A is spread from person-to-person by putting something in the mouth that has been contaminated with the stool/poo of a person that has the Hepatitis A virus. The virus can contaminate food, drinks, surfaces, and everyday objects. Once infected, a person can pass the virus to others for two weeks or more before they even know they are sick.

Hepatitis A is a liver infection caused by the Hepatitis A virus. Symptoms of Hepatitis A usually develop about four weeks after exposure to the virus, although this period can range from 15 to 50 days. Symptoms can include fever, loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal discomfort, a general feeling of being unwell, followed by a few days of jaundice. People who are immunocompromised, are older, or have a pre-existing chronic liver disease are more at risk of serious illness.

For information about Hepatitis A or if you are experiencing symptoms and have dined or had takeout at this restaurant on any of the dates noted above, please call Health Connection at 721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520 ext. 5875. Hours have been extended to 8 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, and are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday. You may also follow up with your primary healthcare provider. More information is available at www.smdhu.org.

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