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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

239 (including 31 Alta employees) Get Hepatitis A Shots in New York

CNN reports that more than 200 people received hepatitis A vaccinations over the weekend after learning that a Manhattan restaurant employee handling sweets was infected with the virus, according to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Patrons of the Alta tapas restaurant in Manhattan’s West Village from March 23 to April 2 could have been exposed. Of the 239 people who received vaccinations over the weekend, 31 were restaurant employees.

The restaurant believes that about 3,000 people ate at Alta tapas during the time frame, 15% of whom — or 450 — ordered dessert.

Hepatitis A spreads by mouth via traces of fecal matter from an infected person, the Health Department said. If people do not wash their hands before handling food, the food could become infected even though it might look clean.  The virus infects the liver and causes jaundice, which is the yellowing of the skin and eyes, fatigue, abdominal pain, nausea and diarrhea. There is no specific treatment once symptoms appear.  Hepatitis A is rarely fatal, although those with liver disease or a weakened immune system could require hospitalization, according to the health department.