North York Memorial Hall Entrance, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

North York Memorial Hall Entrance, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

News Release

January 26, 2011

Hepatitis A identified in restaurant employee

Toronto Public Health (TPH) has identified a case of Hepatitis A in an employee who works at the Sierra Grill restaurant at 2901 Bayview Ave. (at Sheppard Avenue). Anyone who has consumed food from this restaurant on Sunday, January 23, 2011 may have been exposed to the Hepatitis A virus and is encouraged to get Hepatitis A vaccine.

The risk of infection is low, however, as a precaution, we are recommending that anyone who ate at this restaurant on January 23 should get vaccinated to prevent Hepatitis A infection, said Dr. Michael Finkelstein, Associate Medical Officer of Health.  To be effective, the vaccine must be given within 14 days of potential exposure to the virus.

TPH will hold three clinics for anyone who ate at the Sierra Grill on January 23, 2011. The vaccine is free. All clinics will be held in the North York Memorial Hall, 5110 Yonge St., lower level, at the following times:
Thursday, January 27, Gold Room, 4 – 8 p.m.
Friday, January 28, Gold Room, 4 – 8 p.m.
Saturday, January 29, Burgundy Room, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Anyone who is unable to attend one of these clinics can call TPH at 416-338-7600 (8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.) and staff will be available to answer questions about Hepatitis A and access to vaccine.

Signs and symptoms of Hepatitis A include fever, loss of appetite, tiredness, nausea/vomiting, dark urine and yellowing of the skin (jaundice). Symptoms can develop from 15 to 50 days after exposure to the virus. The risk of contracting Hepatitis A from this exposure is low, and vaccination is the best protection.

Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver caused by a virus, and can be spread from person to person. If someone with Hepatitis A infection handles food without properly washing their hands after using the toilet, the infection can be spread to others who eat food contaminated with the virus. Hepatitis A is not spread by coughing or sneezing. Most people who are infected recover completely with no permanent liver damage. A Fact Sheet on Hepatitis A is available at http://www.toronto.ca/health.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. Toronto’s government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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