The Westchester County Health Department announced Tuesday afternoon it is extending its recommendation to get a Hepatitis A vaccine to anyone who ate at Winston restaurant in Mount Kisco on May 2 and 3. The two additional exposure dates were added after department staff interviewed restaurant workers as part of their disease investigation.
On Tuesday, the health department gave 78 people a Hepatitis A vaccine after learning on Monday that an employee with Hepatitis A worked while infectious. Anyone who was at the restaurant from Apr. 17 through May 3 may have been exposed.
“I urge anyone who is eligible for treatment to get a Hepatitis A vaccine,” said county Commissioner of Health Dr. Sherlita Amler. “There are no special medications used to treat a person once symptoms appear, but Hepatitis A transmission to others can be prevented through proper handwashing.”
The Westchester County Department of Health is offering free preventive treatment this week to individuals who ate or drank at Winston between Apr. 23 and May 3. Preventive treatment is only effective if given within two weeks of the last day of exposure.
Therefore, those who dined on Apr. 23 must receive preventive treatment on Tuesday, May 7.
Those who dined on Apr. 24 through May 1 have more time, but must receive preventive treatment within two weeks of their exposure.
Anyone who was at the restaurant from Apr. 17 to Apr. 21 is outside the period for preventative treatment but should immediately contact their healthcare provider if they experience symptoms.
No one with a prior history of Hepatitis A vaccination or Hepatitis A infection needs to be treated. The department will offer preventive treatment at the Health Department Clinic, located at 134 Court St. in White Plains on Tuesday, May 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on May 9, 10 and 11 from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Anyone who is looking to receive preventive treatment from May 9-11 must pre-register online at www.health.ny.gov/gotoclinic/60.
A parent or guardian must accompany anyone under 18 years old to provide consent. A restaurant patron can also be treated for exposure by their own health care provider.
Hepatitis A is transmitted by consuming food or drinks or by using utensils that have been handled by an infected person. It may also be spread from person to person by ingesting something that has been contaminated with the stool of a person with Hepatitis A. Casual contact, such as sitting together, does not spread the virus.
Hepatitis A is generally a mild illness whose symptoms include fatigue, fever, poor appetite, abdominal pain, diarrhea, dark urine, light colored stool and jaundice, which is the yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes. Not everyone infected with Hepatitis A will have all of the symptoms. Symptoms commonly appear within 28 days of exposure, with a range of 15 to 50 days.
Preventive treatment is only effective within two weeks of exposure to the virus, but symptoms typically do not appear until a person has had the virus for a few weeks. The illness is rarely fatal and most people recover in a few weeks without complications.
Winston, which is located at 130 E. Main St., is cooperating with the Health Department and is voluntarily closing on Tuesday, May 7 to conduct a thorough cleaning. After the staff have been vaccinated and the restaurant has been re-inspected and approved by the county Department of Health, the restaurant will reopen.