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Food service worker at movie theater exposed patrons to Hep A

Oregon’s Clackamah County Public Health Department is advising area residents who may have been exposed to Hepatitis A at a local movie theater  to check their immunization status.

If they have not been vaccinated against Hepatitis A, people can obtain medication that can decrease their chances of becoming ill. The treatment is effective for up to two weeks after exposure. Area residents who might have been exposed are those who attended the Sandy Cinema, 16605 Champion Way in Sandy, OR, on any of these dates and times:

moviepopcorn_406x250• Feb. 12: 11 a.m. to closing
• Feb. 13: 6 p.m.to closing
• Feb. 14: 2 p.m. to closing
• Feb. 15: 1:30 p.m.to closing

On those days, a Sandy Cinema staff member was on duty after unknowingly contracting Hepatitis during a  recent trip overseas.

People under 40 who have not previously received the Hepatitis A vaccine, are recommended to get a single dose of the vaccine. Twinrix, which is a combination Hepatitis A and B vaccine, is not appropriate for this purpose, health officials said.

For people over 40, the vaccine is not approved. They are recommended to receive immune globulin shots.

Health officials recommend that those who may have been exposed contact their doctor or visit an urgent care facility or pharmacy to ask about the availability of these medications. Clackamas County Public Health also has established an information line at 503-742-5320.

“This recommendation for treatment doesn’t apply to people who ate at Sandy Cinema on other days,” said Dr. Sarah Present with Clackamas County Public Health. “We know the likelihood of infection is low but we are recommending vaccinations for exposed persons because the risk is not zero and there are effective medications that can further decrease the risk if illness.”

Hep A symptoms include fatigue, fever, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting or jaundice, which is a yellowing of the skin or eyes. Some infections can develop into severe liver disease. Symptoms usually develop 3-4 weeks after exposure but sometimes take up to 50 days to develop.

 

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