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Health Officials Report Hepatitis A Scare in a New York

Update Date: Apr 06, 2013 01:03 PM EDT

New York City health officials reported that people who dined at a West Village restaurant might have been exposed to hepatitis A. Since the exposure, the city's officials from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene have stressed that people who ate dessert any time from March 23 to April 2, at Alta Restaurant, which is located at 64 W. 10th street, should get a hepatitis A vaccine as a precautionary measure.

Alta Restaurant reported the health scare after finding out that one of their employees got infected with the virus during a trip to Mexico. According to the manager, Manny Solano, "the employee traveled to Mexico and was infected with Hepatitis A.... she's been cleared already to go back to work." The restaurant was forced to close down its pastry section, but the regular dining area has continued to serve food.

Based on estimations provided by the restaurant, during the 10 days of possible exposure to the virus, roughly 3,000 people dined at the establishment with about 450 people ordering dessert. Despite recent news surrounding the restaurant, the regular amount of diners continued to eat there Friday night.

"I didn't know it had gone on," an anonymous diner stated. "I guess I would have been concerned had I known before. I probably wouldn't have gone in. I don't know."

Hepatitis A is a viral infection that causes liver disease. It can be easily spread from person to person if one comes into contact with the feces of an infected person, which often occurs as a result of poor hygiene or overcrowding. Some of the symptoms of hepatitis A include fever, fatigue, nausea, and jaundice.

All of the employees at Alta Restaurant have been required to get the vaccine and no one has reported to feeling ill. Furthermore, no diners have fallen ill as of yet either.  

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