Health officials in Ontario, Canada have issued a public health warning due to hepatitis A being confirmed in a Alma restaurant employee. Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health is advising anyone who ate at Marj’s Village Kitchen (also referred to as Marj’s) in Alma Ontario between January 2 and January 20 to get a hepatitis A vaccination as soon as possible.

Ontario map/public domain wikimedia commons
Ontario map/public domain wikimedia commons

Dr. Nicola Mercer, Medical Officer of Health and CEO for WDG Public Health has confirmed that an employee of the restaurant has a confirmed case of hepatitis A and anyone who ate there in the first part of January could be at risk of infection.

Public Health will be holding free hepatitis A vaccine clinics for anyone who ate food from Marj’s Village Kitchen in the first 20 days of the month.

The clinics will be held at the Fergus Public Health offices on Thursday, January 22 from 3 to 7 pm and Friday, January 23 from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Public Health officials are asking anyone with questions about getting the vaccine or concern they have hepatitis A to call a 1-800-265-7293 ext4920 or dial our direct hep A answer-line at 519-823-4920 if you have any questions about getting the vaccine or any concerns you might have about hepatitis A.

“The risk of exposure is low, but anyone who ate at this restaurant in the first half of January should get a vaccination as a precaution,” said Dr. Mercer.  “Symptoms can develop 15 to 50 days after exposure to the virus and can range from mild to severe.  Infants and the elderly can get quite sick. It is important to get your vaccine as soon as possible.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that results from infection with the Hepatitis A virus. It can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months.

Hepatitis A is usually spread when a person ingests fecal matter, even in microscopic amounts, from contact with objects, food, or drinks contaminated by feces or stool from an infected person.

Not everyone has symptoms. If symptoms develop, they usually appear 2 to 6 weeks after becoming infected and can include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine and jaundice.

There is no specific treatment once symptoms appear, but a vaccination can help lessen the effects of the disease if given within 14 days of exposure. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page

The best way to control the spread of hepatitis A and many other illnesses is through proper hand washing, especially after using the restroom, changing diapers, and before eating or preparing food. Hand washing should include 20 seconds of vigorous soaping of all parts of the hands, especially between fingers and under fingernails.

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