WIVB Buffalo reports that the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center drew a crowd of hundreds of pizza lovers Monday, looking for protection against possible exposure to hepatitis A. Casa Di Pizza, a popular Elmwood Avenue restaurant in Buffalo, had a server diagnosed with the disease on Friday. The Erie County Health Department encouraged 1,500 patrons to receive vaccinations if they ate at the restaurant or banquet room between March 9th and March 19th — Monday they vaccinated 766 people. The bar and take-out service were not involved with the server in question.
Last Friday, the Erie County Department of Health announced two precautionary public health clinics in response to the recent identification of the hepatitis A virus in a local restaurant worker, a server at Casa di Pizza on Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo. The health department also warned the public that they should watch for symptoms of Hepatitis A for 50 days after their visit. If they start having Hepatitis A symptoms they should call their healthcare immediately and tell them they may have exposed to Hepatitis in Buffalo. Anyone experiencing Hepatitis A symptoms should contact their healthcare provider immediately.
Hepatitis A is one of five human hepatitis viruses (hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E) that primarily infect the liver and cause illness. An estimated 80,000 cases occur each year in the U.S., although much higher estimates have been proposed based on mathematical modeling of the past incidence of infection. Each year, an estimated 100 persons die as a result of acute liver failure in the U.S. due to hepatitis A, but the rate of infection has dramatically decreased since the hepatitis A vaccine was licensed and became available in the U.S. in 1995.