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Hepatitis A Immunization Clinics Offered by Health Unit

The local health unit will be offering free Hepatitis A immunizations to area residents who have eaten a recalled frozen berry blend that was sold at Costco.

Immunization clinics will be held at the Lindsay and Port Hope offices of the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit for people who have eaten Nature’s Touch Organic Berry Cherry Blend frozen fruit in the past 14 days. Immunizations will be provided to people six months of age and older who have not previously been fully vaccinated against Hepatitis A.

The recalled Nature’s Touch Organic Berry Cherry Blend frozen fruit was sold exclusively at Costco stores in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador between December 11, 2015 and April 15, 2016. The product was recalled by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency on April 15, 2016 as a result of a multi-province Hepatitis A outbreak investigation. To date, 13 cases have been reported in Canada, with most cases occurring in Ontario. No cases have been reported within the HKPR District Health Unit area.

“You are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated if you ate this product within the past 14 days and have not previously been immunized against Hepatitis A,” says Dr. Lynn Noseworthy, Medical Officer of Health for the HKPR District Health Unit. “If you are vaccinated within two weeks of exposure, you can be protected from developing the disease.”

Anyone who has purchased the recalled fruit is advised to throw it out or return it to the point of purchase, Dr. Noseworthy says. If you have eaten the product and are a food handler, or work with vulnerable populations contact the HKPR District Health Unit for more information. Food premises that have purchased the recalled product for service to the public are asked to contact the HKPR District Health Unit.

Individuals who have eaten the recalled product should monitor themselves for signs and symptoms, thoroughly wash their hands, and contact their health care provider if they are concerned. Symptoms may include fever, stomach pain, dark urine, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, clay or ash-coloured bowel movements, and jaundice. Symptoms can occur 15 to 50 days following exposure, but usually occur within 28 to 30 days.

Costco has contacted customers who have purchased the recalled fruit product and is offering immunization clinics through the store pharmacies for individuals six years of age and older. The HKPR District Health Unit is holding the following clinics:

Lindsay:           April 21 – 2 to 6 pm

                        April 29 – noon to 4 pm

Port Hope:        April 28 – 2 to 6 pm 

Hepatitis A is a disease that can cause inflammation of the liver. Illness can range from severe to mild, lasting a few weeks to several months. You can get Hepatitis A by eating food or drinking water that has been contaminated through the feces of a person infected with Hepatitis A. One common way this contamination occurs is when an infected food handler has a bowel movement, does not properly wash their hands, and then directly touches already cooked, or ready-to-eat foods with their unclean bare hands or with dirty gloves.

Immunizations are being given by appointment only, and people can call the Health Unit toll-free at 1-866-888-4577 to book their appointment for either location.

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For media inquiries, contact:

Anne Marie Holt, Director, Communicable Disease Control, Epidemiology and Evaluation, Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit, (905) 885-9100 or

Marianne Rock, Manager, Communicable Disease Control, Epidemiology and Evaluation, Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit, (905) 885-9100

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