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Confirmed hepatitis A case in food handler prompts public alert

July 10, 2019

AIRDRIE – Alberta Health Services (AHS) has confirmed a case of hepatitis A in an individual who prepared food at Zenbu Japanese Restaurant (#5104, 35 MacKenzie Way S.W., Airdrie) while infectious.

Individuals who consumed food from the restaurant between June 15 and June 29, 2019 inclusive, may have been exposed to hepatitis A.

Those who ate at the restaurant on June 27, 28 and 29 may be eligible for post-exposure prophylaxis immunization and should call Health Link (811) immediately for assessment of exposure and risk. Immunization clinics will be hosted for these individuals in Airdrie over the next few days.

Immunization can only be provided within 14 days after an exposure and can prevent illness from occurring. The single dose of vaccine provided at the clinic is sufficient to protect a potentially affected individual from this hepatitis A exposure.

Individuals who ate at this restaurant between June 15 and June 29, and who are experiencing the below symptoms at this time, should call their doctor or Health Link at 811, immediately.

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.

Anyone who believes they may have been exposed is also advised to monitor for the above listed symptoms for 50 days after they last ate at the restaurant, as illness can occur from 15 to 50 days after exposure. If symptoms do develop, call Health Link at 811.

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.

AHS has inspected this facility and confirmed it has been cleaned and sanitized, and is operating safely.

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.

For media inquiries, contact:

Bruce Conway
AHS Communications