Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Christmas day churchgoers warned of hepatitis A outbreak at Long Island church

Churchgoers who attended Christmas mass at Our Lady of Lourdes in Massapequa Park were warned that they may have been exposed to hepatitis A during the communion ceremony.

Churchgoers who attended Christmas mass at Our Lady of Lourdes in Massapequa Park were warned that they may have been exposed to hepatitis A during the communion ceremony.

Churchgoers who received Communion at a Catholic church in Long Island on Christmas Day could have been infected with hepatitis A, the Nassau County Health Department warned Monday.
Department and church officials did not name the source of the virus, but said that people who attended services at 10:30 a.m. and noon at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Massapequa Park could have been exposed during the Communion ceremony, when priests, deacons and selected parishioners distribute wafers and wine.
Mary Ellen Laurain, a spokeswoman for the Nassau County Department of Health, said that "a person involved in the Communion process has tested positive for hepatitis A."
"We feel the transmission [level] is low," she told Newsday, saying only a few people were possibly exposed. "And to protect the public from potential illness, those who received Holy Communion on Dec. 25 should receive prophylactic treatment."
Hepatitis A is not as dangerous as hepatitis B and C. Most people infected with it experience flu symptoms like fever, nausea and diarrhea. It does not lead to chronic liver disease, like hepatitis B and C.
It is normally transmitted by food that is handled by an infected person who has not washed his or her hands properly, or if an infected person’s stool comes in contact with food.
It can be destroyed by immune globulin injections, which the health department said it is offering at the church today and tomorrow. The department is also offering hepatitis A vaccines, which prevent infection.
Roughly 7,500 parishioners belong to Our Lady of Lourdes, but it was not known how many people attended the Christmas Masses or received Communion that day.
A spokesman for the church’s diocese told Newsday that he did not know the capacity of Our Lady of Lourdes, but that "it was probably a full church" on Christmas.

1 comments:

Christmas day is the most important day for the Christian calendar. become ordained online That is the day when Jesus Christ was born 2012 years ago. Either in the end of December or in the first week of January every Christian commemorates the day by having festivities and by participating in midnight prayers.

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