5 sick; hundreds await Hepatitis A vaccinations after outbreak at Bronx restaurant

DNAinfo reports that within two hours of opening its doors, a city vaccine clinic hoping to target potential victims of a hepatitis A outbreak at a Bronx restaurant — that sickened five with the washing-chicken-post hepatitis.Adisease — had administered roughly 400 shots and had a line of hundreds waiting to be seen, organizers said.

Members of the Medical Reserve Corps, a national network of health workers, had been brought in to help cope with the demand following Friday’s news that four patrons of New Hawaii Sea Restaurant and one worker had fallen ill with the liver disease, according to the Department of Health.

The restaurant, which operates a sit-down eatery with Chinese and Japanese fare as well as offering take-out and catering services at 1475 Williamsbridge Road, has been shut down and would not reopen until all the workers have been vaccinated, Dr. Thomas Farley, the city’s Health commissioner announced Friday.

The city urged anyone who had eaten food from New Hawaii Sea from September 7 and 19 to get vaccinated against hep A as soon as possible, since it is the only way to safeguard against an infection.

“We are trying to get as many people as possible,” said Sam Miller, a DOH spokesman, who noted they were working in a tight time frame.”

“After two weeks’ time the vaccine isn’t effective, so if you were there before, the vaccine isn’t going to help you,” he said. “Anyone experiencing symptoms that ate there before [then] should go to their doctor immediately.”