Mid-Island hepatitis A vaccination clinics set

  • Jan. 14, 2011 7:00 a.m.
The Vancouver Island Health Authority is asking anyone who ate ready-to-eat deli products from the delicatessen at the Duncan Wal-Mart between Jan. 5 and Jan. 10 to get a hepatitis A vaccine as one of the employees tested positive for the disease.

The Vancouver Island Health Authority is asking anyone who ate ready-to-eat deli products from the delicatessen at the Duncan Wal-Mart between Jan. 5 and Jan. 10 to get a hepatitis A vaccine as one of the employees tested positive for the disease.

The Vancouver Island Health Authority is asking anyone who ate ready-to-eat deli products from the delicatessen at the Duncan Wal-Mart between Jan. 5 and Jan. 10 to get a hepatitis A vaccine as one of the employees tested positive for the disease.

Following is the VIHA press release on the confirmation and where to go for the vaccine.

Hepatitis A drop-in immunization clinics will take place Saturday, Jan. 15 and Sunday, Jan. 16 for eligible members of the general public who have consumed certain deli products from the delicatessen in the Duncan Wal-Mart. This follows confirmation that a food handler in the delicatessen has tested positive for the disease.

The clinic times and locations are as follows:

Comox Valley Health Unit, 961 England Ave; Courtenay

· Saturday, January 15, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

· Sunday, January 16, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Nanaimo Health Unit, 1665 Grant Ave.

· Saturday, January 15, 10 a.m. to 12 noon

· Sunday, January 16, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Victoria Health Unit, 1947 Cook St.

· Saturday, January 15, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

· Sunday, January 16, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Immunization clinics will also be held in Duncan at the Island Savings Centre, 2687 James St:

· Friday, January 14, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

· Saturday, January 15, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

· Sunday, January 16, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

· Monday, January 17, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

VIHA Public Health recommends members of the public who consumed ready-to-eat food, including sliced meat and cheese, from the delicatessen at the store between Dec. 30, 2010 and January 4, 2011, or consumed meat or cheese sliced at the deli counter from Jan. 5 to Jan. 10, 2011 should receive hepatitis A vaccine as a precaution. Individuals who ate or purchased deli items after this time period are not at risk of contracting the disease.

This alert DOES NOT apply to produce or other foods purchased from the grocery department or to foods from the McDonalds restaurant located in the Walmart.

Persons who have had hepatitis A in the past, or who have previously received two doses of the vaccine are immune to the disease and do not need to be vaccinated.

Individuals who have ready-to-eat deli products in their homes that were purchased at the delicatessen in the Duncan Walmart between December 20, 2010 and January 4, 2011, or meat or cheese sliced at the deli counter from January 5 to January 10, 2011 should not consume these items and should dispose of them immediately.

Individuals who consumed ready-to-eat deli products purchased between December 20 and Dec. 30, 2010 may have been exposed to hepatitis A. However, vaccination is not recommended for these individuals as the time period for effective treatment has passed. Individuals who ate ready-to-eat deli products during this time period need to be aware of the symptoms of hepatitis A, which include fever, tiredness, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. These symptoms are followed a few days later by the occurrence of dark-coloured urine, light-coloured stools, and jaundice (yellow eyes/skin).

Anyone who develops these symptoms should stay home from school, work, daycare or other activities and avoid preparing food for others. They should also contact a physician or HealthLink BC by dialing 811.

Clinics are also publicized on the VIHA website, www.viha.ca

Individuals who live outside the Duncan area and who are eligible for the vaccine should attend one of the Duncan, Nanaimo, Courtenay or Victoria clinics, or contact their local Public Health Unit to arrange immunization at their local health unit. Contact information for Public Health Units can be found on the VIHA website at www.viha.ca.

The public can be assured that it is safe to purchase and consume food from the deli department at the Duncan Walmart store. All potentially contaminated food products have been removed from the store. The positive case has not worked at the store since January 4, 2011.

Hepatitis A is a virus that affects the liver. The virus can be found in the bowel movements (stool) of infected people. It can spread through close personal contact, or contaminated food that has been handled by an infected person.

Hepatitis A vaccine protects against infection from the hepatitis A virus. In the case of potential food-related exposure, one dose of vaccine is recommended.

More information about hepatitis A and the vaccine is available at: www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthfiles/hfile33.stm.