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Hepatitis A Exposure Extended For Anyone Who Ate At Northern Westchester Restaurant

Winston
Winston Photo Credit: Google Maps street view

The Westchester County Health Department is extending its recommendation to get a Hepatitis A vaccine to anyone who ate at Winston restaurant on Main Street (Route 117) in Mount Kisco on Thursday, May 2 and Friday, May 3. 

The additional two exposure dates were added after health department staff interviewed restaurant workers as part of their disease investigation.

On Tuesday, May 7, the health department gave 78 people a Hepatitis A vaccine after learning on Monday, May 6 that an employee with Hepatitis A worked while infectious. Anyone who was at the restaurant from April 17 to May 3 may have been exposed.

The County Health Department will continue to offer free preventive treatment this week to individuals who ate or drank at Winston between April 24 and May 3. Advance registration for the county preventive clinic is highly recommended. To register, go to www.health.ny.gov/gotoclinic/60.

Preventive treatment is only effective if given within two weeks of the last day of exposure. Therefore, those who dined on April 23 had to receive preventive treatment Tuesday, and others must receive preventive treatment within two weeks of their exposure.

Anyone who was at the restaurant from April 17 to April 23 and has not yet been vaccinated is outside the period for preventive treatment and should contact their health care provider if they develop symptoms.

No one who had two Hepatitis A vaccines or Hepatitis A infection needs to be treated. The health department will offer preventive treatment at the Health Department Clinic, 134 Court St., White Plains, on the following dates and times:

  • Wednesday, May 8, 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., pre-register online
  • Thursday, May 9, 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., pre-register online
  • Friday, May 10, 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., pre-register online

A parent/guardian to provide consent must accompany anyone under 18 years of age. Primary care providers also can treat restaurant patrons with exposure.

“I urge anyone who is eligible for treatment to get a Hepatitis A vaccine," Sherlita Amler, MD, Commissioner of Health, said. "There are no special medications used to treat a person once symptoms appear, but Hepatitis A transmission to others can be prevented through proper handwashing. And a second Hepatitis A vaccine will provide lifetime protection.”

Hepatitis A is transmitted by consuming food or drinks or by using utensils that have been handled by an infected person. It may also be spread from person to person by ingesting something that has been contaminated with the stool of a person with Hepatitis A. Casual contact, such as sitting together, does not spread the virus.

Hepatitis A is generally a mild illness whose symptoms include fatigue, fever, poor appetite, abdominal pain, diarrhea, dark urine, light colored stool and jaundice, which is the yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes. 

Not everyone infected with Hepatitis A will have all of its symptoms. Symptoms commonly appear within 28 days of exposure, with a range of 15 to 50 days. 

Preventive treatment is only effective within two weeks of exposure to the virus, but symptoms typically do not appear until a person has had the virus for a few weeks. The illness is rarely fatal and most people recover in a few weeks without any complications.

Winston is cooperating with the Health Department and closed voluntarily on Tuesday to conduct a thorough cleaning. 

After staff members have been vaccinated and the restaurant has been re-inspected and approved by the Westchester County Department of Health, the restaurant plans to reopen later this week.

This continues to be a developing story. Check back to Daily Voice for updates.

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