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Update: Health Department Offers More Recommendations to Patrons Possibly Exposed to Hepatitis A at La Fontana Restaurant

The Rockland County Department of Health notified the community last week about a confirmed case of acute Hepatitis A identified in a worker 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.

This past weekend, the Rockland County Department of Health provided vaccine to more than 300 people who ate at the restaurant on March 29, March 30 and April 1, 2014. The vaccine is most effective when given within 14 days of exposure to the virus, therefore patrons who ate at the restaurant between March 19 and March 28 would not benefit from vaccination.

The Health Department encourages those who were not vaccinated, but visited the restaurant between March 19 and April 1 to see a doctor if symptoms develop. Symptoms usually appear two to six weeks after becoming infected and may include the following:

  • fever
  • fatigue
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • abdominal pain
  • grey-colored stools
  • dark urine
  • joint pain
  • jaundice (yellowing of eyes and skin)

Symptoms are more likely to occur in adults than in children. They usually last less than two months, although 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% of cases).

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.

If you are concerned about your risk please contact your health care provider. For more information about Hepatitis A, please contact the Division of Disease Control & Prevention at 845-364-2997 during business hours.