Ottawa Public Health advises recent patrons of a Toronto restaurant that they may have been exposed to hepatitis A

Posted on Saturday June 30, 2018

Ottawa Public Health is advising anyone who consumed food or drink at Toronto restaurant “O’Grady’s on Church” between June 7 and June 23, 2017 to be aware that they may have been exposed to hepatitis A. “O’Grady’s on Church” is located at 518 Church Street in Toronto. Ottawa residents are being advised as Toronto is a popular summer travel destination.

An employee of the restaurant is confirmed to have been diagnosed with hepatitis A. While the risk is low, individuals who consumed food and beverages from this restaurant June 7 to June 23 should watch for signs and symptoms and practice thorough hand washing. Residents are advised that if they experience any symptoms listed below to contact their healthcare provider.

If you have been fully immunized with Hepatitis A vaccine, or a combined Hepatitis A and B vaccine (Twinrix®) vaccine, you are protected and do not need further immunization. Consider contacting Ottawa Public Health (613-580-6744) or your health care provider to determine if you are eligible for a vaccination.

Clinics will be offered by appointment only on Friday, June 30, 2017 and Saturday, July 1, 2017 by contacting Ottawa Public Health (613-580-6744 x26325). The hepatitis A vaccine is most effective when received within 14 days of exposure.

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. 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 to 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.

Always wash fresh fruits and vegetables. If you are travelling, 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 or come into contact with hepatitis A or have questions about getting the vaccine, please contact Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744 (TTY: 613-580-9656) or your health care provider. You can also visit on Twitter, and on Facebook.

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