October 16, 2019
Aroostook Latest News | Nick Isgro | Bangor Metro | Nor'easter | Today's Paper

No ongoing risk of hepatitis A exposure at Caribou restaurant, health officials say

Chris Bouchard | Aroostook Republican & News
Chris Bouchard | Aroostook Republican & News
Burger Boy in Caribou.

Cary Medical Center and Pines Health Services administered nearly 800 hepatitis A vaccines over the course of just three days after a Caribou restaurant worker was infected with the virus.

The high volume of vaccinations resulted from a Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention announcement last Friday indicating that an employee of the Caribou restaurant Burger Boy was carrying the hepatitis A virus.

Wednesday was the last day of Cary Medical Center offering scheduled vaccination clinics, however, Pines Health Services will continue to offer vaccinations 8 a.m.-3 p.m. at all its locations. They will offer vaccinations at the same time Friday in all locations except Washburn and on Saturday vaccines will be offered 9 a.m.-noon at the Caribou Health Center.

Those unable to attend at these times are encouraged to visit Cary Medical Center emergency room in Caribou.

[Caribou restaurant owner says he had ‘no way of knowing’ employee was infected with hepatitis A]

Burger Boy owner Spenser Ouellette said earlier this week that he “had no way of knowing” that the employee was carrying the virus, and that he left the restaurant to seek medical treatment as soon as he noticed symptoms. Additionally, Ouellette said that no employees have since experienced symptoms of the virus.

Medical officials advise that a vaccine will not be effective for any individuals who have eaten at Burger Boy between April 24 and May 7, adding that the risk of actually contracting the virus is low. Those who did not receive a vaccination are urged to read the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s factsheet on hepatitis A symptoms and contact their physician or medical provider with any concerns.

Anyone who ate at the restaurant on May 8 needs to receive a vaccination Thursday at the latest, and those who ate at Burger Boy on May 13 would need their vaccination by Monday.

[Customers could be at risk after Caribou restaurant employee had Hepatitis A, CDC says]

No vaccinations are needed for anyone who ate at the restaurant after May 13, as the exposure risk was no longer present. Officials at Cary Medical Center also confirmed that there is “no ongoing risk related to hepatitis A at the restaurant,” adding that residents can comfortably go back to enjoying ice cream and food at the city’s iconic restaurant.

This story was originally published in The County.



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