NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The New York City Health Department is warning customers of a Bronx restaurant of possible exposure to Hepatitis A.
In response to cases of Hepatitis A infections in an employee and four customers at New Hawaii Sea Restaurant, a Chinese/Japanese eatery located at 1475 Williamsbridge Road in Morris Park, health officials are urging customers who ate at the restaurant — either in-store, through catering or delivery — between Sept. 7 and 19 to receive a Hepatitis A vaccine as soon as possible.
Any leftover food from the restaurant should also be discarded, officials said.
“We are asking all restaurant patrons and employees to get this vaccination as soon as possible,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley. “If people experience symptoms, they should see a doctor immediately. This incident serves as an important reminder to always wash your hands thoroughly before handling food to prevent the spread of disease.”
Several customers stopping by the popular restaurant on Friday night told CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez they ate at the establishment recently and are now nervous.
“It’s very unsettling. I don’t even think I want to wait until tomorrow. I think I’m going to go to the emergency room and have them check me now,” patron Kim Jenkins said.
“I’m definitely nervous. My stomach is turning right now as we speak, thinking about if I could be sick or anything like that,” customer Victor Marquez added.
“You go to an establishment to eat a meal — not to get a disease,” Anthony Aggimenti added.
Hepatitis A is spread by eating food that has been contaminated by an infected person. Symptoms include jaundice, fatigue, abdominal pain, nausea and diarrhea.
People typically develop symptoms of Hepatitis A infection about one month after they are exposed to the virus, with other cases ranging from two weeks to 50 days, officials said.
If people are vaccinated within 14 days of exposure, vaccination can prevent the disease from occurring, officials said.
People can visit their doctor to receive the vaccination, officials said.
The Health Department will also offer Hepatitis A vaccinations beginning Saturday at the Herbert Lehman High School located at 3000 East Tremont Ave. in the Bronx from 2 to 8 p.m.
Vaccinations will also be offered Sunday from 2 to 8 p.m.
For vaccination clinic updates to your mobile device, text HEPA to 877877.
People who were exposed but have already received two doses of Hepatitis A vaccine sometime in their life do not need another shot; all others should be vaccinated, officials said.
For more information on Hepatitis A, please visit http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/living/cd-hepatitisabc.shtml
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