Brendan Keany

Hepatitis A Confirmed in Local Restaurant Employee

Two vaccine clinics starting next week

August 16, 2019 - 2:46 pm
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BUFFALO (WBEN) - A case of hepatitis A has been confirmed in a local restaurant employee, according to Erie County officials.

The Erie County Department of Health is advising anyone who may have consumed food or drinks from Thursday, August 8 and Sunday, August 11, to receive a hepatitis A vaccine from one of the two clinics that will be hosted at the Erie County Training and Operations Center in Cheektowaga:

  • Monday, August 19, from 1-7 pm
  • Tuesday, August 20, from 1-7 pm

The investigation began on Tuesday after information was passed along from a local emergency department. From that information, the department of health was able to confirm the case was a food handler from Platinum Pizza. The company has been notified about the possible exposure, and all employees have been or are currently in the process of being vaccinated.

"We believe our work to immunize at risk populations and raise awareness of the importance of the vaccine has prevented many new hepatitis A cases in our community," said Health Commissioner Gale Burstein. "So far this year, we've immunized 392 individuals who believe were at risk for hepatitis A through our outreach activities."

Burstein noted that the prevalence of hepatitis A, especially locally, is following a disturbing trend.

"In the past couple years, the number of hepatitis A cases have been increasing throughout the country and we know that this communicable disease is present in our community," she said. "Until 2018, we usually had between two to four reported cases of hepatitis A in Erie County each year, but in 2018, there were 32 new hepatitis A cases reported, and so far in 2019, there are 18 reported hepatitis A cases."

To pre-register for the clinics, head to https://health.ny.gov/gotoclinic/15

Listen to the entire press conference below:

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