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Hundreds Receive Hepatitis A Shots after exposure at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Massapequa Park

Screen shot 2011-01-09 at 9.19.07 PM.png100’s more received shots against Hepatitis A at a Massapequa Park church as health officials explained why it took them several days to discover more people were potentially exposed than originally thought. The Nassau County Health Department first learned during the New Year’s weekend that someone involved in the Communion process at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church during Christmas services was infected with hepatitis A, department spokeswoman Mary Ellen Laurain said. Monday, the department announced it would hold vaccination clinics Tuesday and Wednesday for people who received Communion at the 10:30 a.m. and noon Masses on Christmas Day. But it was not until they re-interviewed people involved, Laurain said, that health officials learned Communion hosts touched by the infected person at the first two Masses may have been mixed in with hosts used in at six subsequent Masses – one on Christmas and five the next day, a Sunday. Catholic churches commonly mix leftover hosts at the end of Masses in a ciborium, or bowl.

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