PHILADELPHIA–The Philadelphia Department of Public Health has recently confirmed that a person who works at Ristorante La Buca, located at 711 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, has acute Hepatitis A.
While the risk of Hepatitis A infection is very low, the Health Department recommends that people who dined at Ristorante La Buca between Monday, October 28th and lunch service on Friday, November 15th receive Hepatitis A vaccine as soon as possible. People who have previously received two doses of Hepatitis A vaccine OR have had Hepatitis A in the past do not need to be vaccinated.
The best way to prevent Hepatitis A is through vaccination with the Hepatitis A vaccine. To get the full benefit of the Hepatitis A vaccine, more than one shot is needed. Practicing good hand hygiene – including thoroughly washing hands after using the bathroom, changing diapers, and before preparing or eating food – plays an important role in preventing the spread of Hepatitis A.
People who need Hepatitis A vaccine should contact their healthcare provider’s office or visit a pharmacy to receive vaccine. The Health Department maintains an online list of pharmacies that can provide hepatitis A vaccine. Check with the individual pharmacy to determine whether your insurance is accepted.
Hepatitis A is an infection of the liver. It can spread when a person who has Hepatitis A does not wash their hands very thoroughly after using the bathroom and then prepares food. People infected with Hepatitis A usually develop symptoms two to six weeks after they had contact with the virus. Illness can range from mild cases of diarrhea and vomiting to more severe symptoms of jaundice. Other symptoms include fever, low energy, stomach pain, and dark urine. There is no medication to treat Hepatitis A. Many people get better on their own at home but some people can become very sick and need to be hospitalized.
If you develop Hepatitis A symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.
On August 1st, the Health Commissioner declared a public health emergency in response to continuing rapid increases in Hepatitis A in the city.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more information on Hepatitis A.