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Clackamas County issues health warning for Hepatitis A at Sandy Cinema

Customers, employees at cinema may have been exposed from Feb. 12-15


Clackamas County Public Health officials have issued an alert to anyone who may have visited the Sandy Cinema between Feb. 12-15. Customers and employees may have been exposed to hepatitis A.

People who attended the Sandy Cinema, 16605 Champion Way in Sandy, and ate or drank from the concession stand during certain days and hours earlier this week may have been exposed.

The specific days and hours in question are:

• Feb. 12: 11 a.m. to closing

• Feb. 13: 6 p.m.to closing

• Feb. 14: 2 p.m. to closing

• Feb. 15: 1:30 p.m.to closing

Clackamas County is advising people who may have been exposed to check their immunization status, and if they have not been immunized against Hepatitis A, to obtain medication that can decrease their chances of becoming ill. These are effective for up to two weeks after exposure. The medication should not be given if more than two weeks have passed.

• Those individuals ages 1 to 40, who have not previously received the Hepatitis A vaccine, are recommended to get a single dose of the vaccine. Twinrix (which is a combination Hepatitis A and B vaccine) is not appropriate for this purpose.

• For those individuals over 40, the vaccine is not approved. They are recommended to receive immune globulin shots.

Health officials recommend that those who may have been exposed contact their health provider, urgent care or pharmacy to inquire about the availability of these medications.

More information about vaccine supplies is available here: www.clackamas.us/publichealth/.

Clackamas County also has established a call-in line to provide information at 503-742-5320.

Public health officials said theater owners have been fully cooperative and stressed that the risk to the public is extremely low and there is no continued risk to the public.

The Hepatitis A case was first reported to Clackamas County Public Health late Feb. 17.

“This recommendation for treatment doesn’t apply to people who ate at Sandy Cinema on other days,” said Dr. Sarah Present, Clackamas County Public Health Officer. ”We know the likelihood of infection is low, but we are recommending vaccinations for exposed persons because the risk is not zero and there are effective medications that can further decrease the risk if illness.”

Hepatitis A is a viral disease of the liver that is contagious. It is spread from person to person, often by inadequate handwashing after using the toilet or changing diapers, or eating food prepared by an infected person.

Typical symptoms include fatigue, fever, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting or jaundice (a yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Some infections may be mild but it can develop into severe liver disease. Symptoms usually develop 3-4 weeks after exposure, but it may be up to 50 days.