Hep A warning issued to patrons of Saskatchewan motel and restaurant

By on July 17, 2014


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SASKATOON—The Saskatchewan Health Department is warning people who were potentially exposed to hepatitis A at a motel in the province’s southwest last month.

Health officials are still following up on a case where an infected person worked as a food handler at the Mainstay Inn Motel and Restaurant near Riverhurst, Sask., from June 1 to 22.

Five Hills Health Region has completed a thorough inspection of the motel and has confirmed the restaurant does not pose any risk of infection.

So far, more than 600 people who may have consumed food or beverages at the location have come forward.

However, officials have not been able to reach some visitors and there may also be others who are not aware of their possible exposure.

The ministry says there are no confirmed cases of hepatitis A related to this incident at this time but the incubation period does not expire until Aug. 10.

According to the ministry, for every 1,000 people infected, one to three could be fatal.

The hepatitis A virus is found in the bowel movements of infected persons. Carriers who do not thoroughly wash their hands can pass the virus to others by handling food.

Symptoms of hepatitis A include: yellowing of the eyes; dark urine; lighter-coloured stools; fatigue; fever; nausea; and loss of appetite.

The time between becoming infected and developing symptoms usually takes a month. Infected persons are contagious two weeks before they start developing symptoms and a week after.

Many of those infected may not show symptoms.