Confirmed hepatitis A case in food handler prompts public alert
AIRDRIE – Alberta Health Services (AHS) has confirmed a case of hepatitis A in an individual who participated in preparing food at Thang Long Vietnamese Cuisine (304 Main St. S., Airdrie) while infectious.
Individuals who consumed food from the above noted Thang Long Vietnamese Cuisine location between Monday, May 27 and Thursday, June 13, 2019, inclusive, may have been exposed to hepatitis A and should call Health Link (811) immediately for assessment of exposure and risk.
Individuals who call Health Link will also be advised of eligibility for immunization clinics. These clinics are planned for June 18 and June 19, from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Airdrie Town and Country Centre, 275 Jensen Drive N.E. Immunization can only be provided within 14 days after an exposure and can prevent illness from occurring. Individuals assessed by Health Link as eligible for immunization, but who cannot attend these clinics, are encouraged to talk to Health Link about alternate options for immunization.
Anyone who believes they may have been exposed are also advised to monitor for symptoms of hepatitis A up to 50 days after they last ate at the restaurant, as illness can occur from 15 to 50 days after exposure.
Symptoms of hepatitis A may include: tiredness; poor appetite; nausea and vomiting; abdominal pain and fever; followed by dark-coloured urine, light-coloured stools, and yellowing of eyes and skin several days later. Some people, especially young children, may get hepatitis A infection without noticing any symptoms; however, they are still infectious to others.
Individuals who develop symptoms are also advised to contact Health Link at 811 immediately.
“While we believe the risk to the public is low, hepatitis A is a serious infection,” says Dr. Jia Hu, Medical Officer of Health, AHS Calgary Zone. “Calling Health Link and monitoring yourself and your family for symptoms are important precautions.”
Hepatitis A is an infection of the liver caused by a virus. Spread through the fecal-oral route, individuals primarily contract hepatitis A through direct contact with an infected person; however, individuals can also contract the illness indirectly by ingestion of contaminated food or water.
If an infected individual does not properly wash his/her hands after using the washroom, the virus can be transmitted through food and beverages prepared by the infected individual.
There is no ongoing risk of infection associated with this restaurant. It has been cleaned, inspected, and approved as safe to operate by AHS Environmental Public Health.
Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.