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Published October 25, 2013, 05:56 PM

Grand Forks church added to list warning of possible exposure to Hepatitis A

The North Dakota health department says some Grand Forks Catholic church members were exposed to the hepatitis A virus

By: David Schwab, WDAZ

The North Dakota health department says some Grand Forks Catholic church members were exposed to the hepatitis A virus.

Saint Michael's Church is the fifth North Dakota Catholic Church where exposure occurred. There have been three in Fargo, one in Jamestown, and now St. Michael's Catholic Church in Grand Forks. Fargo Diocese Bishop John Folda paid visits to the Catholic Church from September 27th to October 7th, then development symptoms and was diagnosed with Hepatitis A.

The Bishop took part in a 10:30 Mass on September 29th at St. Michael's Catholic Church. Those who attended are being encouraged to consult their health care provider if they develop symptoms of the virus, which include fever, nausea and abdominal discomfort. The virus can be spread when people don't wash their hands thoroughly after using the toilet or changing a diaper or soiled sheets, that according to the health department. Church officials say the bishop did deliver communion during that mass.

"The infectious period for the person who is ill is usually from a few days before they become ill to until a week after they are ill. So that's the time frame in which they could potentially expose others. So that's what we want to be concerned about," said Debbie Swanson with the Grand Forks Health Department.

The State Health Department says there have been no confirmed new cases since the possible exposures took place. But people should be aware of any illnesses, and those exposed but do not have symptoms are not recommended to be tested.

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