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Vaccinations continue after Bronx restaurant Hepatitis scare

Monday, September 23, 2013
Restaurant customers line up for free Hepatitis A vaccine Bronx restaurant has hepatitis scare Hepatitis scare at Morris Park restaurant Hepatitis A scare at Morris Park restaurant

New York City health officials are offering Hepatitis A vaccinations again Monday for anyone who ate at a Japanese restaurant in the Bronx where five people tested positive for the virus.

Hundreds of people were lined up outside Lehman High School on East Tremont Avenue over the weekend for their free Hepatitis A vaccines. At times, the line wrapped around the block.

All of the people who lined up ate at New Hawaii Sea Restaurant on Williamsbridge Road in the Bronx within the last month.

Max Genovino just got his vaccine.

"It is safer to eat at home, there is plenty of sushi and hibachi that don't have bad names  this place is done for me," says Genovino.

On Saturday, Eyewitness News spoke with the owners of New Hawaii Sea Restaurant, which has Health Department notices posted in its windows. They would only say they are cooperating with the Health Department, and referred Eyewitness News to their lawyer for all other questions.

One employee and four customers tested positive for the virus.

"Hepatits A is found in the stool of infected people and when a person eats something or touches their mouth with the virus on it, they can become infected," said Dr. Jennifer Rosen of the NYC Department of Health.

Katie Marinaro and her three friends say they are regulars at New Hawaii Sea Restaurant, but not anymore.

"I got so frightened that I also went for blood work before I came for my vaccine, but I guess I'll be alright," Marinaro says.

Anyone who ate at the restaurant between September 7th to September 19th is urged to get a vaccine. The Health Department will be offering free vaccinations Sunday at Lehman High School from 2-8 p.m. and on Monday from 6-10 p.m.

An average of 50-60 hepatitis A cases are reported to the Health Department in NYC each year, with 1-2 happening with food handlers.

Proper hand washing with soap can prevent transmission.

For more information on Hepatitis A, please visit: http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/living/cd-hepatitisabc.shtml

(Copyright ©2014 WABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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