WDAY: The News Leader

Published October 24, 2013, 09:38 PM

Holy Spirit Catholic School is notifying parents about the Hepatitis risk

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - One of those churches has an attached Catholic School next door.

By: Becky Parker, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - One of those churches has an attached Catholic School next door.

The principal of Holy Spirit Catholic School says they are notifying parents about the risk.

Dana and Kerstin, the good news is that the risk of exposure to Hepatitis A is low, and most children these days are vaccinated.

For those who fear they may contract the disease, there are easy ways to keep it from spreading.

Simply taking communion could have exposed local Catholic-churchgoers to Hepatitis A - a foodborne illness that infects the liver.

Among them are those who went to school mass at Holy Spirit Church on September 27th.

But children at the Holy Spirit Catholic school next door are vaccinated against the virus by age two… a requirement for entering childcare.

Elysia Libbrecht/Holy Spirit Parent: "We've had all of our kids vaccinated, and I just think that right now our thoughts and prayers are with the new Bishop and just hope that he's ok."

Fargo-Cass Public Health sees few cases of Hepatitis A, and they say the risk of getting it is low.

Dr. John Baird/Fargo-Cass Public Health: "It's not very common in our area. I was checking and we've had 6 cases in the state in the past year."

In the meantime, keeping the disease from spreading is easy.

Washing your hands carefully after using the bathroom is a must, and those who are infected should not handle food.

Baird: "It is eliminated from a person's body through the stool, through the feces. If that would get into water or other food and then someone would ingest it then that's how they would get it."

If you do start showing symptoms, which takes about 15 to 50 days, contact a healthcare provider.

The symptoms generally last about two months.