The Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit is informing the public about a potential health scare in London, Ontario.

“Have you received services from Cali Nails at White Oaks Mall in London, Ontario between May 4, 2017 (to) January 5, 2018? If so, the Middlesex London Health Unit is encouraging you to consult with your Health Care Provider to discuss the risk of potential exposure to blood borne pathogens,” Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit officials say.

The Middlesex-London Health Unit is advising clients of the London salon, to consult their healthcare providers and discuss the risk of potential exposure to blood-borne infections, and to consider testing for Hepatitis B, C and HIV.

Potential exposures may have occurred for clients who received services at the salon between May 4, 2017 and January 5, 2018.

Middlesex-London Health Unit officials say in response to repeated infection control infractions identified by Public Health Inspectors, and the report of a client who has tested positive for a blood-borne infection, the Health Unit is taking the added precaution of issuing a public alert.

Clients who obtained services from the salon during this time may have been at an increased risk of contracting a blood-borne infection, health officials say.

While the infractions observed were corrected at the time of the inspections, public complaints and subsequent observations of similar infractions, have led to a concern that a risk of exposure to blood-borne infections may have existed between the time inspections were conducted from May, 2017 to January, 2018.

“We have worked diligently with the operator to ensure that all employees can demonstrate an understanding of approved infection control techniques, and that the necessary corrections have been made so the business can continue to operate safely,” stated Mary Lou Albanese, Manager of the Infectious Disease Control team at the Middlesex-London Health Unit, in a press release.

“With what we’ve seen over the inspection history of this business, it has become necessary for us to issue this public notification.”

Although the risk is generally low, inadequate infection prevention and control practices in personal service settings, such as nail salons, barber shops, spas, or tattoo and body art shops, can result in the potential transmission of blood-borne infections, as well as common skin infections, health officials say.

It is important to note; it may be impossible to determine whether any positive blood tests resulted from procedures performed at a particular location or if they are due to other exposures, health officials say.

As per the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s protocol, the Health Unit inspects personal service settings in London and Middlesex County at least once a year.

Inspection reports for these local businesses are available online at www.healthunit.com/inspections.