Hepatitis A at Italian Eatery

Monday, Apr 14, 2014  |  Updated 1:34 PM EDT
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Health officials say a waiter at La Fontana in Nyack tested positive for the virus. Sheldon Dutes reports.

Health officials say a waiter at La Fontana in Nyack tested positive for the virus. Sheldon Dutes reports.

Health officials are warning anyone who dined at an Italian restaurant in upstate New York over a two-week period may have been exposed to hepatitis A.
 
An employee who handles food at La Fontana in Nyack has been confirmed to have the virus, according to the Rockland County Department of Health.

 
Restaurant owner Tony Triarsi said it was a waiter who returned from a vacation to find out from his doctor that he had hepatitis A.
 
Hepatitis A is a liver disease spread by fecal matter from an infected person getting into an uninfected person's mouth. Symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, abdominal pain and jaundice.
 
Restaurant patron Martha Woodhouse was concerned when she heard the news. 
 
"We love the bar, love the restaurant, we love the owners, we love everybody who works there. But the idea of going to your favorite place and getting sick is a little scary," she said. 
 
But Sal Cordoro said it would not prevent him from continuing to visit the restaurant. 
 
"I'm sure they're taking care of the situation appropriately," he said.
 
Anyone who dined there between March 19 and April 1 is at risk, and everyone who ate there on March 29, March 30 and April 1 should get a vaccine, officials said. Those who ate at the restaurant before March 29 would not benefit from a vaccine.
 
Anyone who has already had two doses of hepatitis A sometime in their life does not need another shot.
 
The health department is offering a free hepatitis A vaccine to patrons and employees Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Monday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Rockland County Fire Training Center, 35 Firemens Memorial Drive in Pomona.

-- Sheldon Dutes contributed to this report. 

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