On January 6, Halton Region Public Health was notified of a case of hepatitis A in a food handler, who worked at Kerr Street Café, located at 298 Kerr Street in Oakville, between December 15 and 30, 2019.
“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. Joanna Oda, Associate Medical Officer of Health at Halton Region. “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 had hepatitis A infection, will have immunity from the disease, and do not require vaccine.
Halton Region Public Health strongly recommends that:
- anyone who visited the restaurant on December 28 between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. or December 30 between 12 and 4 p.m. receive the hepatitis A vaccine at a free immunization clinic being held at Halton Regional Centre (auditorium) on Saturday, January 11 and Sunday, January 12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (no appointment necessary); and
- all patrons who ate or drank 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:
- December 15: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- December 18: 12 to 5 p.m.
- December 20: 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- December 21: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- December 23: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- December 28: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- December 30: 12 to 4 p.m.
The restaurant is working closely with Halton Region Public Health. It has been inspected and is compliant with public health standards.
Hepatitis A is an infectious disease 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.
Common symptoms of hepatitis A include:
- general feeling of discomfort, illness, or uneasiness
- abdominal discomfort
- loss of appetite
- nausea and vomiting
- dark urine
- jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
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. Once infected, a person can pass the virus to others for two weeks or more before they even know they are sick. For those who have had close contact with a person with hepatitis A, a vaccine is available that can help prevent you from getting sick if it is given within 14 days of contact with the ill person.
To help prevent hepatitis A infection:
- wash hands thoroughly using soap and water, especially after using the toilet, changing diapers and before handling or eating food;
- avoid eating raw fish or shellfish;
- avoid sharing food and common items such as water bottles and cutlery.
- drink properly treated or bottled water if travelling outside of Canada; and
- consider getting the Hep A immunization if travelling where the disease is common or your personal and or professional life puts you at risk for the disease.
If you are concerned that you may have been infected with hepatitis A or have questions about the vaccine, please speak to your health care provider or contact Halton Region Public Health by calling 311. To learn more about hepatitis A, please visit Halton’s Preventing Communicable Diseases webpage on halton.ca.
The Regional Municipality of Halton serves 580,000 residents in the City of Burlington, the Town of Halton Hills, the Town of Milton, and the Town of Oakville. Halton Region is committed to meeting the needs of its residents through the delivery of cost-effective, quality programs and services, including water and wastewater; Regional roads and planning; paramedic services; waste management; public health; social assistance; children’s and seniors’ services; housing services; heritage programs; emergency management and economic development. For more information, call 311 or visit Halton Region’s website at halton.ca.