Alberta Health Services (AHS) has confirmed a case of hepatitis A in a food handler working at two Edo Japan locations – Manning Town Centre (Edmonton) located at 15426-37 St., and Tudor Glen South (St. Albert) located at 3510 Tudor Glen Market.

Image/Public domain photo/John Fowler via Wikimedia Commons
Image/Public domain photo/John Fowler via Wikimedia Commons

Patrons who consumed food from these Edo Japan locations in Edmonton and St. Albert, from between June 13-18, 2016 and June 21-28, 2016 (inclusive), may have been exposed to hepatitis A.

“While we believe the risk to the public is low, hepatitis A is a serious infection,” says Dr. Joanna Oda, Medical Officer of Health, Alberta Health Services – Edmonton Zone. “As a precaution, anyone who consumed food at either Edo location is advised to monitor themselves and their family for symptoms until August 17, 2016.”

There is no ongoing risk of infection associated with either of the above noted Edo locations. Both have been cleaned, inspected, and approved as safe to operate, by AHS Environmental Public Health inspectors.

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.

Illness can occur within 15 to 50 days after exposure to the virus, but usually does within 28 to 30 days. Individuals can be infectious one to two weeks before symptoms occur until at least one week after the onset of illness.

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 such symptoms between June 27, 2016 to August 17, 2016 are advised to contact Health Link at 811 immediately.

Individuals who have had hepatitis A infection in the past or who have previously received an appropriate series of hepatitis A vaccine are not at risk of infection.

There is no specific treatment for hepatitis A, but it can be prevented through immunization.