A confirmed case of acute Hepatitis A has been identified in a food handler at the La Fontana restaurant in Nyack. Patrons and other employees may have been exposed to Hepatitis A virus between March 19 and April 1, 2014.
The Health Department will offer free Hepatitis A vaccine to restaurant patrons and employees starting Saturday, April 12 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday, April 13 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Monday, April 14 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon at the Rockland County Fire Training Center, 35 Firemens Memorial Dr in Pomona.
The Rockland County Department of Health is recommending that all people who ate at the restaurant on March 29, March 30 and April 1, 2014 receive Hepatitis A vaccine. Patrons who ate at the restaurant between March 19 and March 28 will not benefit from vaccination. In order for the vaccine to be most effective, people who have been exposed to Hepatitis A should be vaccinated within 14 days. The earlier the vaccine is given, the more effective it is in preventing the disease. In general, the vaccine is 80 to 90 percent effective.
Restaurant patrons may also receive vaccine at their medical provider’s office. 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.
Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by a virus. It is spread from person to person by putting something in the mouth (even though it might look clean) that has been contaminated with traces of fecal matter from an infected person. Most people recover within a few weeks with bed rest and by avoiding alcoholic beverages. There are no special medicines or antibiotics that can be used to treat a person once the symptoms appear.
Symptoms include jaundice (yellowing of eyes and skin), fatigue, abdominal pain, nausea, and diarrhea. While some people who have chronic liver disease or a weakened immune system could experience more severe illness and require hospitalization, Hepatitis A is very rarely fatal (fewer than 1 percent of cases). For more information on Hepatitis A, a fact sheet is attached.
We appreciate the support and assistance of our community residents in Rockland County to help us address emerging health concerns. To obtain additional information, please contact the Division of Disease Control & Prevention at 845-364-2997 during business hours.