Lake Louise

Case of hepatitis A found at Lake Louise ski resort; health alert issued

LAKE LOUISE, Alta. — Alberta Health Services has issued a public alert after a lounge worker at the Lake Louise ski resort was confirmed to have hepatitis A.

The liver infection is highly contagious and can be spread through food and water.

Health officials say customers who ate or drank hot beverages at the Powderkeg Lounge in Lake Louise between Nov. 6 and Nov. 8 may have been exposed.

Alberta Health Services is offering a vaccine to those people.

The health agency says patrons who consumed cold beverages are not at risk of exposure and do not need a vaccine.

Clinics are being held in Calgary and Banff in the next couple of days — the vaccine is only effective if administered within two weeks of exposure.

“While we believe the risk to the public is low, hepatitis A is a serious infection,” Dr. Judy MacDonald, medical health officer for the Calgary zone, said in a release Thursday.

“A vaccine administered within 14 days of exposure can greatly reduce the risk for patrons who consumed food or hot beverages at this location during this time frame.”

Symptoms may include tiredness, poor appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and fever. An infected person’s urine will turn dark and the eyes and skin will turn yellow.

Some people, especially young children, may have hepatitis A infection without any symptoms, but they are still infectious.

Risk of transmission is reduced through thorough washing of hands with soap and water after using the bathroom and before preparing or consuming foods.

Lake Louise is about to host World Cup men’s and women’s downhill ski races. The men arrive early next week for training runs ahead of races Nov. 28-29. The women compete Dec. 4-6.

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