Diners who ate dessert at Alta Restaurant in Manhattan, within the last couple weeks may have been infected with Hepatitis A, according to the NYC Health Department.
New York City health officials are warning the thousands of patrons who ate at the West Village bistro between March 23 and April 2 to get a vaccination for Hepatitis A, which causes liver disease.
“We are asking these restaurant patrons to get this vaccination as a precautionary measure,” Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said in a statement.
“If people experience symptoms, they should see a doctor immediately. This incident serves as an important reminder to always wash your hands thoroughly to prevent the spread of disease.”
Alta restaurant’s manager, Manny Solano, told DNAinfo.com that a pastry chef who recently returned from a trip to Mexico is the source of the Hepatitis scare.
The pastry chef began feeling sick on Monday and a doctor diagnosed her with HAV infection, which includes symptoms such as fatigue, fever, stomach pain, nausea and diarrhea.
All of Alta’s employees will now be vaccinated for the disease, Manny Solano said.
The restaurant estimates that as many as 3,000 people dined at the high-end eatery -which is located at 64 W. 10th St. – during the 11-day period in question, with roughly 450 patrons having eaten dessert.
Hepatitis A is spread through fecal matter that is inadvertently eaten. In this case, it would most likely be spread to diners if the pastry chef did not wash her hands after using the bathroom.
Most people who are diagnosed, if treated, will recover completely within a couple days to a couple weeks.
The NYC Health Department is offering free Hepatitis A vaccinations to patrons starting Monday at the Chelsea Health Center, located at 303 Ninth Avenue. The service will be available between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on April 6 and 7, as well as between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on April 8.