MLHU offers free hepatitis A vaccines amid outbreak tied to frozen mangoes

The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) will be offering free hepatitis A vaccination clinics on Friday and Saturday for anyone who consumed recalled frozen mango products in the last two weeks.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency recalled several frozen mango products on July 30 “due to possible Hepatitis A contamination.” The following day, the Public Health Agency of Canada confirmed at least three cases tied to the products — two in Quebec and one in Nova Scotia.

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Health Canada investigating hepatitis A outbreak in N.S. and Quebec, prompting frozen mango recall

“If someone has consumed the product within the last two weeks, they can get a vaccine that will prevent the acquisition of the disease itself,” medical officer of health Dr. Chris Mackie tells Global News.

“If they’ve had the product before that two weeks, all we can really offer is support in watching for symptoms and connecting with a health-care provider.”

The MLHU adds that it can take up to 50 days for hepatitis A symptoms to develop. If someone has eaten the recalled mango more than two weeks ago, they’re asked to contact their health-care provider if they begin developing symptoms or contact the health unit at 519-663-5317 or by email at health@mlhu.on.ca.

Mackie also explained that hepatitis A is not something Canadians are routinely vaccinated for in their youth.

“Hepatitis B (vaccine) is routinely given to everyone in middle-school periods. In Canada, we don’t routinely give hepatitis A vaccine. Some countries do, but in Canada, we only really give it to those that have had an exposure because you do have that two-week window after the exposure to get the vaccine and it’s quite effective at preventing the disease.”

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According to the health unit’s page on hepatitis, symptoms include fever, body aches, stomach pain, nausea, fatigue, jaundice and dark (or “tea-coloured”) urine. However, the health unit says many people infected with viral hepatitis, like hepatitis A, have no symptoms.

“The vast majority of people will generally pass an infection of hepatitis A. They might get quite sick, but they recover fully. In a small number of people, you do see the other outcome, which is death,” Mackie said.

Anyone who has any affected product (listed below) should throw it away immediately.

The vaccination clinics will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Aug. 6 and 7 at the health unit’s offices in Citi Plaza at 355 Wellington St., Suite 110.

The recalled product includes:

  • two-kilogram bags of Nature’s Touch frozen mangoes with best before date of Nov. 9, 2022
  • 600-gram packages of Compliments Mango Mania with best before dates of Nov. 10, 2022 and Dec. 18, 2022
  • 600-gram packages of Irresistibles Mango Chunks with best before date of Nov. 10, 2022
  • 600-gram packages of President’s Choice Mango Chunks with best before dates of Nov. 6, 2022 and Nov. 10, 2022

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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