A restaurant worker at Ang’s Family Restaurant on Clinton Street in Buffalo has been diagnosed with the hepatitis A virus, the Erie County Health Department announced Tuesday.
Health officials are advising anyone who ate or drank at Ang’s, which is also known as Ang’s Lunch Wagon at 1501 Clinton, between Tuesday, Sept. 24 to Friday, Sept. 27 to get a hepatitis A vaccine.
The vaccine can prevent people who have been potentially exposed to the virus from developing the infection.
A vaccine clinic will be held from 7:30 to 10 a.m. Wednesday at Ang’s.
Health officials were notified about the exposure on Monday. They’re also investigating further possible exposures between Thursday, Sept. 12 and Monday, Sept. 23. The vaccine would not be effective for people exposed during that time period.
The restaurant has been notified about the potential exposures and is working with Health Department staff to provide unvaccinated employees the vaccine. Health sanitarians are inspecting the restaurant Tuesday.
“This is the third case of hepatitis A in a restaurant worker that our department has handled this year,” said Erie County Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein in a statement.
“… As of today, we have confirmed 32 hepatitis A cases in Erie County, which matches what we saw in 2018. In the three years before that, we saw between two and four new cases each year,” she continued. “This is a contagious disease and we strongly encourage all Erie County residents, including people who work in food service or restaurants, to complete the hepatitis A vaccine series. Primary care providers, occupational health care clinics and travel immunization clinics are able to provide this vaccine.”
In March, a cook at a Fillmore Avenue restaurant was diagnosed with hepatitis A and in August, a kitchen worker at a Broadway pizzeria tested positive for the virus. Vaccination clinics were conducted after both of those cases were reported to the Health Department.
Hepatitis A is a disease marked by fatigue, poor appetite, abdominal pain, nausea, jaundice and dark urine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It typically runs its course within a few weeks to a couple of months. Symptoms often occur about four weeks after exposure, according to the CDC. Most children younger than 6 are symptom-free.
Hepatitis A is typically transmitted when people eat or drink products that have been contaminated by small amounts of feces from someone already infected with hepatitis A or, in some cases, have sex with someone who is infected.