North Dakota bishop exposes hundreds to hepatitis A
The bishop of the Fargo Catholic Diocese exposed potentially hundreds of churchgoers in two North Dakota cities to the hepatitis A virus in late September and early October.
The state Health Department has issued an advisory of exposure for anyone who was served communion at services attended by Bishop John Folda at four churches in Fargo and Jamestown during that time. The hepatitis A virus is rarely deadly but can cause serious liver problems. It is usually transmitted through exposure to an infected person or through contaminated food or drinks.
"The risk of people getting hepatitis A in this situation is low, but the Department of Health felt it was important for people to know about the possible exposure," State Immunization Program Manager Molly Howell said in a statement Thursday.
It is not known how many churchgoers might have been exposed.
Folda contracted the liver disease from contaminated food while attending a conference for newly ordained bishops in Italy last month, the diocese said Monday. He has been traveling extensively since he was ordained in June but has been taking time off work since Oct. 10 due to the virus, diocese spokeswoman Aliceyn Magelky told The Forum.
"He has improved greatly," Magelky said. "He is doing just fine; he is slowly getting back to his regular schedule."
Folda attended and participated in communion distribution at the Sept. 27 school mass at Holy Spirit Church in Fargo; the Sept. 29-Oct. 2 priest convention at St. James Basilica in Jamestown; the Oct. 6 noon mass at Cathedral of St. Mary in Fargo; and the Oct. 7 mass at St. Paul's Catholic Newman Center in Fargo.
One parishioner who was exposed said she isn't too concerned.
"We pray for (Folda), and I'm not too worried about getting hepatitis," Terry Pennebaker, of Fargo, told WDAY-TV.
Symptoms of hepatitis A include fever, tiredness, loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal discomfort, dark urine, pale stools or jaundice. Symptoms can take 15 to 50 days to appear. People who develop symptoms are urged to consult a doctor. Health officials do not recommend that people get tested if they do not have symptoms.
Tuesday, December 3 2013 10:48 PM EST2013-12-04 03:48:06 GMT
Canton residents have voted down a proposal to build a new aquatic center. The city required 60% of voters to approve the bond to pass; only 50.9 voted yes. Canton financial officer Kyle Cwach said 412 votedMore >>
Canton residents have voted down a proposal to build a new aquatic center.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 11:29 PM EST2013-12-07 04:29:51 GMT
With the Salvation Army Warming Center's doors not open yet, the Sioux Falls Police Officers have seen an increase of homeless people out on the streets in the below zero temperatures. KSFY's Tess HedrickMore >>
With the Salvation Army Warming Center's doors not open yet, the Sioux Falls Police Officers have seen an increase of homeless people out on the streets in the below zero temperatures. KSFY's Tess Hedrick took rode along with a Sioux Falls Police Officer Friday evening.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 11:19 PM EST2013-12-07 04:19:35 GMT
HURON, S.D. (AP) - Governor Dennis Daugaard has announced the formation of a task force to find a balance between modern agricultural practices and wildlife-oriented land conservation. Daugaard madeMore >>
He's concerned about the declining pheasant population and its statewide impact.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 11:08 PM EST2013-12-07 04:08:17 GMT
The Sioux Falls Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in locating a missing person that is memory impaired. The missing person is Leroy Harold ‘Bud' Anderson. He is a white male, 75More >>
The missing person is Leroy Harold ‘Bud' Anderson. He is a white male, 75 years old, 5' 10" tall 180 pounds, white hair, balding on top.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 11:00 PM EST2013-12-07 04:00:52 GMT
LUCAN, Minn. (AP) - The names of the two children killed in a farmhouse fire in southwestern Minnesota this week have been released. The family identifies the victims as 7-year-old Hazel and 4-year-oldMore >>
The two were unaccounted for after the fire Wednesday. One of the children's bodies was found Wednesday, the other a day later.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 7:27 PM EST2013-12-07 00:27:18 GMT
Every year the streets of downtown Dell Rapids fill up to welcome the holidays with open arms. But the recent blast of arctic air has forced organizers of Christmas at the Dells to make some changes. "IMore >>
Cold weather cancels outdoor portion of Christmas at the Dells annual holiday event.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 6:47 PM EST2013-12-06 23:47:21 GMT
WCCO -- A family is western Minnesota is dealing with a tragic loss. Two of their children were unaccounted for after a fire started in their home Wednesday. The bodies of those children were found WednesdayMore >>
A family is western Minnesota is dealing with a tragic loss. Two of their children were lost in a devastating house fire Wednesday. More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 6:10 PM EST2013-12-06 23:10:35 GMT
The fate of South Dakota's minimum wage rests in the hands of voters, Secretary of State Jason Gant announced Friday. After passing the petition certification process, the issue is now known as InitiatedMore >>
The fate of South Dakota's minimum wage rests in the hands of voters, Secretary of State Jason Gant announced Friday.More >>