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Hepatitis A: Patrons of Port Chester restaurant warned of possible exposure

The Westchester County Department of Health is recommending that individuals who ate or drank at bartaco, a restaurant in Port Chester, between October 14th and October 23rd receive preventive treatment against Hepatitis A, a viral illness that affects the liver. The health department learned on October 25th that an employee with the illness worked at the restaurant while infectious.

Hepatitis A Vaccine
Image/National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Preventive treatment is only effective if given within two weeks of exposure. The health department will offer free preventive treatment for people who ate or drank at bartaco in Port Chester during this time period.  Anyone with a prior history of Hepatitis A vaccination or Hepatitis A infection does not need to be treated.  The health department will offer preventive treatment on the following dates and times:

Listed below are options for those looking to receive preventive treatment on Sunday, October 29th:

“Hepatitis A is generally a mild illness whose symptoms include fatigue, fever, poor appetite, abdominal pain, diarrhea, dark urine, light colored stool and jaundice, which is the yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes” said Dr. Sherlita Amler, Commissioner of Health. “There are no special medications used to treat a person once symptoms appear, but Hepatitis A transmission to others can be prevented through proper handwashing.”

Not everyone infected with Hepatitis A will have all of its symptoms.  Symptoms commonly appear within 28 days of exposure, with a range of 15 to 50 days. Preventive treatment is only effective within two weeks of exposure to the virus, but symptoms typically do not appear until a person has had the virus for a few weeks. The illness is rarely fatal and most people recover in a few weeks without any complications.

bartaco in Port Chester has fully cooperated with the investigation and voluntarily closed the restaurant on Wednesday, October 25th.  The restaurant is also voluntarily vaccinating all employees with the Hepatitis A vaccine.  The restaurant reopened after it has was re-inspected and approved by the Westchester County Department of Health.  bartaco in Port Chester has also made resources available to assist staff and patrons.