Public health officials are advising residents that a small risk of Hepatitis A exists for people who visited the Mainstay Motel and Restaurant near Riverhurst between June 1 and 22, 2014. 

Saskatchewan map Public domain image/John Fowler
Saskatchewan map
Public domain image/John Fowler

Those who ate or drank at the location between June 18 and 22 are the highest priority contacts, as vaccine may be recommended for them. 

People who visited the location during that time period are encouraged to call 1-888-425-1111 to speak to a public health representative if they have questions about potential exposure.  Those leaving a message should provide their name, birthdate, community of residence, contact phone numbers with area code and the dates they were present at the Mainstay Motel and Restaurant.  

Saskatchewan’s Deputy Chief Medical Health Officer, Dr. Denise Werker, says the risk of contracting Hepatitis A through this exposure is low, though not zero. However, it has become clear that people from other jurisdictions are among those who may have been exposed when eating or drinking at the location. 

“Hepatitis A is not a common disease in Saskatchewan, so we do take cases very seriously and do detailed investigation and follow up,” Dr. Werker said. “Public health officials at the local, provincial and national levels are working closely to ensure that those at risk are notified and that they understand what action they should take.” 

An estimated 1,100 people may have consumed food or beverages at the Riverhurst location in June, and therefore been exposed to Hepatitis A. After exposure, symptoms may take two to seven weeks to appear. However, people become infectious to others two weeks prior to onset of symptoms. 

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Hepatitis A, caused by infection with the Hepatitis A virus (HAV), has an incubation period of approximately 28 days (range: 15–50 days). HAV replicates in the liver and is shed in high concentrations in feces from 2 weeks before to 1 week after the onset of clinical illness. HAV infection produces a self-limited disease that does not result in chronic infection or chronic liver disease.

However, 10%–15% of patients might experience a relapse of symptoms during the 6 months after acute illness. Acute liver failure from Hepatitis A is rare (overall case-fatality rate: 0.5%).

HAV infection is primarily transmitted by the fecal-oral route, by either person-to-person contact or consumption of contaminated food or water. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page