As many as 6,750 diners could have been exposed to Hepatitis A at a Southampton restaurant this month, health officials say.
A waiter and food runner at The Driver's Seat Restaurant at 62 Jobs Lane worked at the restaurant for two weeks, from Aug. 16 to Aug. 20, before he was hospitalized with hepatitis A, according to the Suffolk County Health Department. That means any of the 400 to 450 diners who eat at the restaurant daily could have been exposed to the virus.
The Health Department is offering free preventatitve treatment to anyone who has eaten at the restaurant in the span. The other people who worked at the restaurant are also being immunized for the virus, though none of them have shown symptoms.
The worker had visited Ecuador this summer and had been back in the country about a week before working at the restaurant.
This is the second hepatitis A scare in recent weeks. New York health officials similarly urged customers who ate chopped fruit from Westside Market at 2589 Broadway on the Upper West Side between Aug. 9 and Aug. 22 to get vaccinations.
The disease is spread by eating food contaminated with traces of fecal matter from an infected person.
Symptoms of hepatitis A include jaundice, fatigue, abdominal pain, nausea and diarrhea. People typically develop symptoms about a month after they are exposed to the virus. A vaccination can be used to prevent the disease if administered wit