Hepatitis A scare for Australian Afghani community

An employee who worked on the butcher’s counter at an Adelaide supermarket has tested positive for hepatitis A, prompting a health warning.

The supermarket specialises in retailing products to the Afghan community.

"While the chances of becoming infected are small, we’re asking customers who bought produce from the butcher’s counter during the infectious period to be aware of the risk," director of public health Kevin Buckett said.

Hepatitis A is spread when traces of faecal matter containing the virus contaminate hands, objects, water or food and are then taken in by mouth.

The ‘ole poop-on-the-hands-oral-fecal-route routine.

Dr Buckett said employees from the Vatan supermarket had been offered a vaccination against hepatitis A and health officials continued to work with the business owners to inform the local Afghan community of the health warning.

He said 55 cases of hepatitis A had been reported in South Australia so far this year compared to just 19 in 2008.