Patrons Of Popular Westchester Restaurant Offered Free Vaccinations Following Hepatitis A Scare

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Westchester County restaurant has reopened after a Hepatitis A scare. Hundreds of customers have been vaccinated, and more are expected to get their shots this weekend after dining at bartaco in Port Chester.

READ: At Least 4 Sickened With Hepatitis A After Eating At Port Chester Restaurant

Even though the popular taco joint is approved to re-open, people are on edge after the Westchester County Health Department launched an investigation into the restaurant. They say an employee worked there while infected with the viral illness which affects the liver.

“It’s very scary,” customer Laurie Singer Matthias said. “You’re going to your favorite place and later you find out that you’ve been exposed to something that is potentially dangerous. It makes you feel very vulnerable.”

Matthias is a loyal customer of bartaco, and got a preventative vaccine from her doctor along with hundreds of others who turned out for an arranged vaccination clinic in White Plains on Thursday.

Customers who were at bartaco between August 22 and October 12 are also urged to look out for symptoms, which include:

  • jaundice/yellow skin
  • fever/fatigue
  • nausea/loss of appetite
  • darkened urine

The health department says in rare cases, Hepatitis A can be fatal.

The first case from bartaco was reported two weeks ago. A second case was reported Oct. 16, and the only thing they had in common was having eaten at bartaco, Dr. Sherlita Amler, Commissioner of Health said.

It was not until Wednesday that they found the sick worker. Despite all employees being vaccinated, one woman said she would never go back.

“That worries me, because the place is not cheap — and you’re going there for a nice experience and the experience is going to be hepatitis?” said Edith Rivera. “I don’t think you want that.”

The clinic in White Plains will be offering vaccinations throughout the day Saturday. There will also be clinics held on Monday and Tuesday.

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