The Fargo, North Dakota, Catholic Diocese’s new bishop may have exposed hundreds of church members here and in Jamestown to the hepatitis A virus in late September and early October.
“The risk of people getting hepatitis A in this situation is low, but the Department of Health felt it was important for people to know about the possible exposure,” said Molly Howell, immunization program manager.
The diocese announced Monday that Bishop John Folda is taking some time off after being diagnosed with hepatitis A. The diocese said he contracted the infection through contaminated food while attending a conference for newly ordained bishops in Italy last month.
In New York City, a Hepatitis A outbreak at a Westchester Square pizzeria, has its neighboring eateries dealing with the side effects.
The New York Daily News reported that several eateries near the still-shuttered New Hawaii Sea restaurant which closed last month after five patrons caught Hepatitis A, say they’re stuck dealing with the stigma of the virus.
Ljubo Kocovic, who opened his own pizzeria 28 years ago in 1985, said because of the Hepatitis scare, business has suffered.
“This is the slowest it has ever been. I’ve never seen an October like this,” Kocovic said. “One guy has a problem, and we all suffer. It’s very stressful.”
Restaurant owner, Nilesh Patel of M&R Coffee Shop agreed.
“People are afraid to come,” he said. “It’s not fair. They made a mistake, they should have to pay the price.”