Modified: August 16, 2019 1:05pm
August 16, 2019
CONTACT: Kara Kane
Phone: (716) 858-4941
HEPATITIS A CONFIRMED IN LOCAL RESTAURANT EMPLOYEE
Diners who ate food from Platinum Pizza in Buffalo between August 8 and
August 11 may have been exposed to the hepatitis A virus
ERIE COUNTY, NY— The Erie County Department of Health has identified a new case of hepatitis A in a local restaurant worker.
A disease investigation began on Tuesday, August 13 immediately after information about a suspected case was received from a local emergency department. Following extensive interviews and a restaurant inspection, ECDOH confirmed a diagnosis of hepatitis A in an individual who handled and delivered food at Platinum Pizza in Buffalo.
ECDOH is advising anyone who consumed food or drinks from Platinum Pizza (1575 Broadway, Buffalo, NY 14212) between Thursday, August 8, 2019 and Sunday, August 11, 2019 to receive hepatitis A vaccine at one of two hepatitis A clinics:
When: Monday, August 19 from 1-7 p.m. AND Tuesday, August 20 from 1-7 p.m.
Where: Erie County Training and Operations Center, 3359 Broadway, Cheektowaga, NY
Limited shuttle service will be available from the St. John Kanty Church parking lot at
101 Swinburne St. in Buffalo.
Pre-registration for vaccination is recommended but not required: https://health.ny.gov/gotoclinic/15.
This vaccine will prevent potentially exposed individuals from developing a hepatitis A infection. Those who develop symptoms suggestive of hepatitis A virus should seek medical evaluation from a health care professional.
Platinum Pizza has been notified of potential hepatitis A exposure, and ECDOH is working with restaurant management to vaccinate employees. Platinum Pizza will be subject to additional inspections from public health sanitarians with the ECDOH Division of Environmental Health over the coming weeks to monitor compliance with ECDOH recommendations.
“Hepatitis A cases are increasing throughout the country, and we know that this contagious disease is present in our community,” said Erie County Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein. “In Erie County, there have been 18 reported hepatitis A cases so far in 2019, following 32 new cases in 2018. Prior to that, we saw just two to four new cases of hepatitis A infections in 2015, 2016 and 2017.”
She continued, “We are providing this safe and effective vaccine for patrons who ate food or drinks at Platinum Pizza between Thursday, August 8 and Sunday, August 11, and it should also be available from primary care providers, occupational health care clinics and travel immunization clinics.”
“Because of the increase in reported hepatitis A infections, the Erie County Department of Health has been providing hepatitis A vaccinations to at-risk individuals in Erie County to decrease the risk of additional hepatitis A infections,” said Dr. Burstein. “We are repeating our recommendation that all Erie County residents, especially people who work in restaurants or food service, get the hepatitis A vaccine and complete the series.”
For more information:
Erie County Department of Health, Hepatitis A: http://www.erie.gov/HepA
Erie County Department of Health: http://www.erie.gov/health
Pre-register for vaccination clinics on August 19 and August 20: https://health.ny.gov/gotoclinic/15
Registration closes on Sunday for the Monday clinic, and on Monday for the Tuesday clinic.
Facts about Hepatitis A:
Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable disease of the liver caused by the hepatitis A virus. It is usually transmitted person-to-person through the fecal-oral route or consumption of contaminated food or water. Hepatitis A usually spreads when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from food or drinks, or other objects that are contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from an infected person. This can happen from eating at a restaurant, sharing food or drink, or eating when traveling in one of the many countries outside the United States with a high hepatitis A infection rate.
Hepatitis A virus can cause illness ranging from no symptoms at all, to a mild illness lasting a few weeks, to a severe illness lasting several months. Although rare, hepatitis A can cause death in some people.
Symptoms of hepatitis A virus can include:
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Dark urine
- Clay-colored stools
- Joint pain
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
People who are most at risk of hepatitis A include:
- People with direct contact with someone who has a hepatitis A infection. This can occur up to 2 weeks before the infected person develops symptoms, so you may not be aware of your exposure at the time.
- Travelers to countries where hepatitis A is common, which include most countries outside the United States. More information is available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s web site.
- Men who have sex with men,
- People who use drugs, both injection and non-injection drugs, and
- Homeless individuals