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Published On: Sat, Sep 21st, 2013

Customers of the New Hawaii Sea Restaurant In The Bronx advised on hepatitis A risk

The New York City Health Department is advising patrons of a popular Bronx Chinese restaurant during the past two weeks to receive hepatitis A vaccine as soon as possible after the viral infection was reported in five people linked to the restaurant.

New Hawaii Sea Restaurant Image/Video Screen Shot

New Hawaii Sea Restaurant
Image/Video Screen Shot

According to a press release Friday, hepatitis A infections have been confirmed in an employee and four customers at New Hawaii Sea restaurant, located at 1475 Williamsbridge Road in the Bronx.

They say that any person who ate at New Hawaii Sea, either in-store, through catering or delivery, between September 7th and September 19th is considered at risk and is recommended to receive hepatitis A vaccine as soon as possible.

Any person who ate food from this restaurant before September 7th should be evaluated if they have symptoms suggestive of infection.

The Health Department is working with the restaurant to ensure that all the food handlers are vaccinated. The restaurant is cooperating fully with the Health Department and will remain closed until enough employees are vaccinated to reopen safely.

“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.”

People can visit their regular doctor to receive this shot. The Health Department will offer hepatitis A vaccinations starting tomorrow, September 21st at the Herbert Lehman High School, 3000 East Tremont Avenue, Bronx, NY 10461 at the following times:

Saturday, September 21, 2013 from 2-8 pm
Sunday, September 22, 2013 from 2-8 pm

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that results from infection with the Hepatitis A virus. It can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months.

Hepatitis A is usually spread when a person ingests fecal matter,even in microscopic amounts, from contact with objects, food, or drinks contaminated by feces or stool from an infected person.

Hepatitis A also can be spread through contaminated food or water. This most often occurs in countries where Hepatitis A is common, especially if personal hygiene or sanitary conditions are poor. Contamination of food can happen at any point: growing, harvesting, processing, handling, and even after cooking.

Not everyone has symptoms. If symptoms develop, they usually appear 2 to 6 weeks after becoming infected and can include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine and jaundice.

There is no specific treatment once symptoms appear, but a vaccination can help lessen the effects of the disease if given within 14 days of exposure.

The best way to control the spread of hepatitis A and many other illnesses is through proper hand washing, especially after using the restroom, changing diapers, and before eating or preparing food. Hand washing should include 20 seconds of vigorous soaping of all parts of the hands, especially between fingers and under fingernails.

An average of 50-60 cases of hepatitis A are reported to the Health Department in New York City each year, with 1-2 occurring in food handlers.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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