April 27, 2009
Media Release

York Region potential Hepatitis A exposure risk lowered

Potential second case tests negative; vaccine clinics remain open tonight until 8 p.m.
NEWMARKET – The Regional Municipality of York Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Karim Kurji, advises residents that the risk for potential Hepatitis A exposure at a Tim Hortons location in York Region is now considered low following the negative test results of the second individual under investigation.  Established clinics will remain open tonight until 8 p.m. for residents interested in getting immunization.
 
Test results just received on the second individual identified in yesterday’s announcement have confirmed that symptoms experienced were not caused by Hepatitis A and foods prepared by this individual did not potentially expose customers to Hepatitis A.
 
Investigation of the first confirmed employee case of Hepatitis A did not identify a risk to customers based on the nature of the work of the employee and the results of the inspection of the food handling processes.  The identification of a second symptomatic case linked to the first confirmed case prompted public health’s response for public notification based on public health practices.
 
The role of public health is to prevent and mitigate the risk of transmission of disease to the public.  It is important for public health to act proactively and quickly in the event of a potential Hepatitis A exposure, particularly given the limited window of opportunity to benefit from the protection offered by Hepatitis A vaccine.
 
Residents who have received a precautionary Hepatitis A immunization will benefit from added protection from the virus.
 
For more information on Hepatitis A and proper hand washing procedures, please contact York Region Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653.  Health Connection hours have been temporarily extended until 
8 p.m. this evening.
 
For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, please visit www.york.ca
 
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Media Contact: Jennifer Mitchell-Emmerson, Community and Health Services, York Region
Phone: 905 830-4444 Ext. 4016 / After-hours Cell: 905 251-5553
Email: jennifer.mitchellemmerson@york.ca

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