Tim Doak, Superintendent of RSU 39, says while this is a confidential matter, he doesn't feel there is any threat and that the school year will conclude with no disruption to daily activities.
The latest case of hepatitis A reported in Caribou has medical professionals feeling less uneasy than one earlier this spring. Dr. Regen Gallagher, Chief Medical Officer at Cary, says at this point, with this particular exposure, no one should have any significant concerns, since the individual was not involved in food preparation.
Unless you had very close direct contact with the individual, like shared blood, body fluids, or ate food prepared by the individual, then there'd be cause for concern, but otherwise, being in the same hallway, in the same classroom, sitting next to somebody - any of those kinds of things is not enough to transmit this disease.
Just because someone was in school with this person does not put them at any significant risk. But getting vaccinated is still a good idea. Gallagher says the vaccine helps eliminate the chance of contracting the disease, if you are exposed to the virus.
This could happen anywhere. You could go to a restaurant in Portland, you could come to the cafeteria at a - at a hospital in this state. You know, anywhere where somebody's preparing food for you - if they happen to contract this virus, there's a period of time where they don't know they have it and they're preparing food, and that puts you at risk.
The best way to avoid worrying about contracting hep A is by getting vaccinated.
It's two vaccines. You get the first one, and then in six months you have a second one, and that provides a long time of protection for you.
Hepatitis A vaccine is available through Cary, as well as other health care providers.
The best thing to do is to contact your primary care provider and speak to them about whether or not you are a good candidate for the vaccine. Most people are, but there are some instances where it may not be appropriate. And then if you are, to go ahead and get vaccinated.
The CDC confirmed the person being treated had multiple possible exposures to the virus, including during out-of-state travel. In his letter, Shah states there is no risk to the public.
There should be no issues with the school year or anything like that. Again, this is a very low-risk exposure.