An estimated 450 diners at the trendy West Village tapas restaurant Alta are at risk of having come in contact with hepatitis A, the New York Department of Health announced yesterday.
According to the health department, anyone who ate dessert at Alta between March 23 and April 2 is considered to be at risk and should get a preventative vaccine. According to The New York Post, about 3,000 people might have visited the restaurant during that period, and about 15 percent of people ate dessert. That means approximately 450 people were exposed to hepatitis A, which got into the restaurant via an employee in the pastry kitchen.
"That employee traveled to Mexico and was infected with hepatitis A,” Alta manager Manny Solano said. “We are working closely with the Health Department to ensure the safety of our customers and our employees as well.”
The infected woman has been fired and as yet no cases of hepatitis A have been reported to have come out of the restaurant, which still displays an "A" grade from the health department.
Hepatitis A is transmitted by eating something that has been contaminated with the fecal matter of an infected person. Symptoms include jaundice, fatigue, abdominal pain, nausea, and diarrhea. Free hepatitis A vaccinations will be distributed today, tomorrow, and Monday through the Chelsea health center, officials said.