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Facts about hepatitis A for those who might be at risk

What is hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver, usually spread when a person ingests food or drink contaminated by an infected person.

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What are the symptoms?

Symptoms can be similar to those of the flu and may include fatigue, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, low-grade fever, abdominal discomfort, dark urine, joint pain, clay-colored bowel movements, and yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice). Symptoms typically do not appear until the individual has had the virus for a few weeks.

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Who are health officials targeting?

Between 1,500 and 2,000 people who dined at the Casa-di-Pizza restaurant, 477 Elmwood Ave., between March 9 and 19. Takeout customers are not at risk.

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What should those people do?

Check their immunization status. If not immunized they should visit Erie County Department of Health clinics from noon to 8 p.m. Monday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, 153 Franklin St., to receive vaccine or immune globulin.

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Who else might be at risk?

Customers who ate at the restaurant between Feb. 27 and March 8 – before the targeted period – also should watch for symptoms. However, they are not eligible for the vaccine or immune globulin because those treatments are only effective within two weeks of exposure to the virus. If those people notice symptoms, they should visit their doctor or an urgent care clinic.

Source: Erie County government

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