Hepatitis A in Westchester County NY
The Westchester County Department of Health recently issued an advisory about a Hepatitis A outbreak at a popular restaurant in Port Chester. Here’s what you should know about this troubling story.
Where Did it Happen?
According to a county spokesperson, several people came down with Hepatitis A after eating and drinking at Bartaco on Willett Avenue. Health experts have traced the outbreak to an employee who worked at the upscale establishment.
What Is Hepatitis A?
Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable disease of the liver that is caused by the Hepatitis A virus (HAV). It is typically transmitted from person-to-person or during the consumption of tainted food or water. Symptoms include stomach pain, low appetite, fatigue, intense itching, jaundice, dark urine, clay-colored bowel movements, joint pain and nausea.
Unlike other kinds of viral hepatitis, hepatitis A doesn’t usually cause long-term liver damage. In most cases, symptoms resolve within two months; however, complications can occur in older adults and people with chronic liver disease.
What Should I Do?
The Westchester County Department of Health has recommended that people seek preventive treatment against Hepatitis A if they drank or ate at Bartaco, between October 14th and October 23rd. By getting an injection of immunoglobulin or a hepatitis A vaccine within two weeks of exposure, these people may be able to avoid infection. There is no need to seek preventative treatment if you have already been immunized against hepatitis A or have contracted the virus in the past.
The health department will offer free preventive treatment for anyone who may have been exposed during the specified time frame. Advance registration for the county preventive clinics is required. To register, visit http://www.health.ny.gov/gotoclinic/60 or call 211 between 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
If you are concerned about the outbreak or experience any troubling symptoms, PhysicianOne Urgent Care is happy to answer any questions you may have.