Hepatitis Scare Rocks Long Island Parish

Vaccines Offered At Our Lady Of Lourdes Church This Week

MASSAPEQUA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Nassau County health officials said Monday that thousands of parishioners at a Massapequa church may have been exposed to hepatitis A on Christmas Day.

The officials told CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey they think it happened at Our Lady of Lourdes Church and the Health Department said those who took communion during the 10:30 and noon masses may have been infected.

“Lots of times you don’t know if you have an illness minor or otherwise like the common cold that you might pass along to somebody,” Jean Cooper told CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez.

Hepatitis is spread by consuming food or drink handled by someone already infected.

Due to privacy standards, health officials wouldn’t say who the source of the hepatitis A was — whether it was a priest, deacon, or the Eucharistic minister who was handing out communion.

The Health Department will administer vaccines at Our Lady of Lourdes, which has about 7,500 parishioners, on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“The first thing we want to tell everybody is do not panic,” Dept. of Health Commissioner Lawrence Eisenstein said, “We’re well within the period that vaccination or Immunoglobulin administration can prevent people who potentially were exposed from contracting the disease.”

Vincent Romeo, who was at the mass, said he plans to get vaccinated but wasn’t “worried about it.”

“I still go to church. I still take my communion,”  he said.

WCBS 880’s Kelly Waldron talks with Church’s communications director about the Hepatitis A exposure

Symptoms of hepatitis A include fever, fatigue, poor appetite, nausea, dark-colored urine and jaundice. The disease is rarely fatal and patients generally recover within a few weeks.

The Health Department said if parishioners were infected, they likely have not experienced any symptoms yet. That, they said, was why the vaccine is so critical.

  • lilady

    More than likely it was submitted through the handling of the communion wafer, not the wine. Hepatitis A is transmitted via the fecal-oral route because people who are infected have failed to scrupulously wash their hands after a bowel movement and before they handle food…or communion wafers, that is then ingested by others.

    Most times, an infected person doesn’t suffer lasting health problems, but in the case of a person who is in fact immune system compromised (the elderly, those with existing liver problems and those who have recently had treatment for cancer), infection with Hepatitis A can lead to life threatening problems.

  • anonymous Jay


    The churches are now in bought out infiltrated Rockefeller eugenics
    lockdown across the nation. FACT

    The World Council of Churches is their well funded, decades old
    vehicle of control.

    Vaccines have been rampantly employed not just to turn profits,
    but to further the hideous genocidal aims of the globalist agenda
    (90% to be ‘eliminated’ by 2100).

    YOU ARE being manipulated.

    STOP buying into the squishy, collectivizing Arminian Heresies
    that, at best, are being purveyed in these social clubs that were
    once scripiture worshiping places of God…

  • Victor

    It is god’s will.

  • BS Meter

    Anyone ever hear what happened to that Brooklyn rabbi that abused his own daughters, and along with a son — fled for Israel and evaded arrest? the media dropped that ball…

    • KPMc

      CBS didn’t drop that ball… they never even picked it up. At least a few other outlets reported on it but in the world of NY CBS local it didn’t happen. I have been wondering why since.

  • Helga

    You mean Jesus Christ would give you hepatitis! How absurd! Whoever is scared is obviously not a believer and should not have received Christ!
    Afterall it is Christ you receive and not hepatitis! How silly to think like that!

  • Benedictus

    I will not share backwash in the chalice with my fellow Catholics. It’s bad enough with the over emoting and the handshake of peace. Ah-choo!!! etc etc

  • Sharon

    just heard commercial for CBS news on TV–Tag line was “Deadly Hepatits Scare”. Hepatitis A is not a deadly virus, and your news story earlier in the day and on-line was correct in that respect. So why the sensationalism in the commercial. Let’s be responsible reporters!!

  • lizzie

    Yes, in the Catholic church,you do not have to receive under both auspices. You can put your hand up (as in “no” or “stop”) to whoever holds the chalice. Germs are easily spread with everyone taking sips from the chalice, even though wiped with the (same) cloth after each person.

  • Ellen

    At my church they give out communion in both forms in not only the host but wine as well. I won’t take the wine no matter what and a lot of other parishioners as well.

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