Hepatitis A Exposure At NYC Restaurant
April 7, 2013

NYC Restaurant Patrons Urged To Get Hepatitis A Vaccine

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

New Yorkers who recently dined at one bistro in the West Village area of Manhattan are being warned by city health officials to get a Hepatitis A vaccination due to a possible contamination risk.

According to Janon Fisher and Ben Fractenberg of DNAinfo.com, anyone who ate dessert at Alta Restaurant between March 23 and April 2 may have contracted the acute liver disease from an infected food handler.

The restaurant´s manager, Manny Solano, told ABC News reporter Gillian Mohney that it was an “isolated incident” which affected a single, unidentified female employee working in the pastry kitchen. That employee was “no longer on the premises” and had contracted Hepatitis A while on vacation in Mexico.

Solano said that the restaurant´s employees will be vaccinated by Monday. The restaurant´s owner told Mohney that an estimated 450 people had desert during the possible contamination period, though Fisher and Fractenberg report that the city´s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene were attempting to contact approximately 3,000 customers who ate at the restaurant during those dates.

Hepatitis A is a disease that targets the liver, and it is spread when fecal matter is accidentally consumed. Health officials caution that it can cause jaundice, fatigue, stomach pain, nausea and diarrhea. New York City health care workers have announced that they will make the vaccinations available free of charge to anyone who fears that he or she may have been exposed to the virus, Mohney said.

“We are asking these restaurant patrons to get this vaccination as a precautionary measure,” Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said in a statement. “If people experience symptoms, they should see a doctor immediately. This incident serves as an important reminder to always wash your hands thoroughly to prevent the spread of disease.”

Vaccinations will be provided at the Chelsea Health Center at 303 Ninth Avenue, 1st Floor in Manhattan on Sunday from 2pm to 6pm and on Monday from 9am to 5pm, the agency said.