Free Vaccinations Offered After Hepatitis A Outbreak at Bronx Restaurant

Customers at New Hawaii Sea restaurant in the Bronx are urged to get vaccinated

Monday, Sep 23, 2013  |  Updated 9:08 AM EDT
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Hepatitis Connected to Popular Restaurant in The Bronx

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Hepatitis Connected to Popular Restaurant in The Bronx

The Health Department is urging customers who ate food from a Bronx restaurant to get a vaccine for hepatitis A as soon as possible. Checkey Beckford reports.
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New York City health officials were offering free hepatitis vaccinations to anyone who ate at a popular Bronx restaurant.

Long lines of customers stood outside Herbert Lehman High School for vaccines Saturday, one day after officials announced that a worker and four customers at New Hawaii Sea, a Chinese and Japanese eatery in the Westchester Village section, had been infected with hepatitis A. 

The vaccinations are being offered Sunday from 2 to 8 p.m. and again Monday from 6 to 10 p.m. at the high school located at 3000 E. Tremont Ave.

Customers who've eaten food from the restaurant between Sept. 7 and Sept. 19 are urged to get a hepatitis A vaccine as soon as possible. People typically develop symptoms of hepatitis A about one month after they're exposed, but can prevent the disease if they're vaccinated within 14 days of exposure. 

Hepatitis A is spread by eating food that has been contaminated by an infected person. Symptoms include jaundice, fatigue, abdominal pain, nausea and diarrhea. 

The restaurant remains closed while workers get vaccinated, leaving some regular customers who showed up Friday worried.

"We came here like two weeks ago. You hear that, you get scared," said Chrissy England. 

John Niccolls said he never expected the restaurant to be the center of an outbreak.

"It's pretty popular around here," he said. 

England says the restaurant had recently renovated and "cleaned it up a lot." 

New Hawaiian Sea received a B grade in its last Health Department inspection in May, but received critical contamination violations as recently as last year. 

Checkey Beckford contributed to this report. 

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