Employee with Hepatitis A detected at Clearwater Dairy Queen


CLEARWATER – Anyone who's eaten at the Clearwater Dairy Queen during an almost two week period this month may have been exposed to Hepatitis A.

The Interior Health Authority released a public health alert today, Dec. 23, that states a clinical case of Hepatitis A has been identified in a food handler at the Clearwater fast food restaurant at 318 Eden Rd.

Hepatitis A is a disease that affects the liver and is caused by the Hepatitis A virus, Interior Health says. The virus is found in the bowel movements of infected people and can be spread through close personal contact or through contaminated food.

Interior Health says there is a low but definite risk to anyone who ate at the Clearwater Dairy Queen during the times the food handler was working.

The food handler was working on the following days and times:

  • Thursday, Dec. 8 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. 
  • Friday, Dec. 9 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.  
  • Saturday, Dec. 10 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.    
  • Sunday, Dec. 11 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.  
  • Thursday, Dec. 15 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Friday, Dec. 16 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 17 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Sunday, Dec. 18 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Avaccine can prevent the disease if it's given within 14 days of exposure, the release states.

“We are advising anyone who may have been exposed to take the precaution of getting immunized,” Medical health officer Dr. Sue Pollock says in the release. “Hepatitis A is a serious infection and immunization is a proven and safe means of preventing illness.”

Interior Health has set up vaccination clinics in Clearwater and Kamloops.

Dr. Helmcken Memorial Hospital in Clearwater:

  • Friday, Dec. 23, 1to 3 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 24  9 a.m. to noon 
  • Monday, Dec. 26, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 27, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Public Health Unit in Kamloops, 519 Columbia St.:

  • Friday, Dec. 23, 1to 3 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 24, 9 a.m. to 12:20 p.m.

The public can get the vaccine at the Dr. Helmcken Memorial Hospital ER in Clearwater or at the Royal Inland Hospital ER outside the listed clinic dates until Wednesday, Dec. 28. After Dec. 28, you must contact your local health unit to get vaccinated.

Interior Health says the Dairy Queen is being fully cooperative and health officers will work with the operator to ensure full cleaning and disinfection measures are taken, adding there is no ongoing risk to customers.

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