Toronto Public Health confirms case of hepatitis A at local juice bar

TORONTO, April 11, 2015 /CNW/ - Toronto Public Health is advising anyone who consumed juice at the Big Carrot organic juice bar located at 348 Danforth Avenue in Toronto, Ontario, between March 17, 2015 and April 2, 2015 that they may have been exposed to hepatitis A.  While the risk is low, individuals who consumed fresh organic juice from this food market during these dates should get a hepatitis A vaccination as soon as possible.

An employee of the Big Carrot organic juice bar is a confirmed case of hepatitis A and anyone who consumed fresh juice at the organic juice bar between March 17, 2015 and April 2, 2015 could be at risk of infection.  Toronto Public Health is asking anyone who consumed organic fresh juice at the organic juice bar during these dates to monitor for signs and symptoms, practice thorough hand washing and contact their health care provider if concerned.

The hepatitis A vaccine is most effective when received within 14 days of exposure.  Toronto Public Health is therefore holding a free hepatitis A vaccine clinic from 1to 3 p.m. on April 12 at the East York Civic Centre located at 850 Coxwell Avenue for anyone who consumed fresh juice at the Big Carrot organic juice bar during this time period.

Hepatitis A is a virus that can cause a liver infection. Symptoms can last a few days to several months. The virus is rarely fatal and most people develop lifetime immunity following infection. Hepatitis A can be serious however, especially for older people and those with chronic liver disease. For these individuals, there is a greater risk of hospitalization and death.

Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver caused by the hepatitis A virus. Most people who are infected recover completely. Unlike hepatitis B and C, hepatitis A does not develop into chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) and death from hepatitis A infection is rare.

Symptoms can begin 15-50 days after becoming infected. It is also possible to be infected and not have any symptoms. For symptomatic individuals, the severity of symptoms can range from mild to severe.

Common symptoms of hepatitis A include:

  • Fever
  • Tiredness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Dark urine
  • Stomach pains
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin)

This virus is transmitted from person-to-person by the fecal-oral route. It is found in the stool of a person infected with the virus.  It is not spread by coughing or sneezing.  A common route of exposure is food contaminated by infected food handlers.

Hepatitis A can be avoided by:

  • Getting the hepatitis A vaccine.
  • Not handling or preparing food for anyone if you are ill.
  • Washing your hands often and thoroughly using soap and warm water. This is especially important after using the bathroom, changing a diaper, and before preparing or eating food.
  • Wearing gloves and changing them often when preparing food for the public. Gloves cannot be washed and reused.
  • Always wash fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • If you are traveling, especially outside of North America, be sure the water supply is safe before drinking it and use caution when consuming ice.

If you are concerned that you may have acquired hepatitis A or have questions about getting the vaccine, contact Toronto Public Health at 416-338-7790, or speak with your primary care provider as soon as possible.  For further information on hepatitis A visit toronto.ca/health.

Toronto is Canada's largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities. Toronto is proud to be the Host City for the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit http://www.toronto.ca, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us @TorontoComms.

 

SOURCE Toronto Public Health

For further information: Lenore Bromley, Toronto Public Health, 416-338-7974, lbromle@toronto.ca

RELATED LINKS
http://www.city.toronto.on.ca

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