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Long Island Restaurant Worker Diagnosed with Hepatitis A: Patrons Urged to Seek Treatment

LongIsland.com

A worker in Southampton's Driver's Seat Restaurant has been diagnosed with Hepatitis A. Those who may be infected can be treated for free by the Suffolk County Department of Health Services.

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The Suffolk County Department of Health Services is investigating a Southampton restaurant after one of their workers was diagnosed with Hepatitis A. The SCDHS is urging anyone who ate or drank anything at the Driver’s Seat Restaurant between August 16th, and 20th, to seek treatment because they may have been exposed to the virus.
 
Free Hepatitis A vaccines or immune globulin is being offered on the Third Floor Teaching Center of Southampton Hospital. Treatment starts today at 3pm to 6pm. It will also be offered tomorrow at 10am to 1pm, 10am to 1pm Monday, September 2, and 3pm to 6pm Tuesday, September 3.
 
Those who may be exposed can also get treated at the SCDHS Great River offices on 3500 Sunrise Highway, Suite 124. Treatment will be from 9am to 4pm today, and 9am to 4pm on Tuesday, September 3.
 
Healthcare providers also offer preventative treatment. The best time to receive the Hepatitis A vaccination is within two weeks of being infected. Those who have already been exposed to the virus, or have received vaccination for it, are immune and have no need for treatment. It’s recommended for those exposed before August 16 to not seek the preventative treatment. By now the symptoms of Hepatitis A should be apparent and the infected should seek out their healthcare provider if they become sick.
 
Hepatitis A is a virus that causes an inflammation of the liver. It can be spread by anyone consuming any food or drinks infected by a person who handled it. It can also be spread by coming in contact with the mouth of a person who has been contaminated with fecal material. Casual contact of the virus does not spread it.
 
Symptoms range from mild to severe fever, fatigue, poor appetite, nausea, stomach pain, dark colored urine, and jaundice. Symptoms appear within 28 days and can last from 15 to 50 days. Most of the infected quickly recover in a few weeks without complications. There is no specific treatment for Hepatitis A and any treatment now is just supportive care. The best way to prevent Hepatitis A is by thoroughly washing your hands before and after you use the bathroom, and during and after food preparation.
 
[Source: Suffolk County]