Health Department Warns of Hepatitis A Risk
Albany, September 25 --- Approximately 2,400 patrons of a Warren County restaurant may have been exposed to hepatitis A and should seek treatment immediately, state and local health officials said today.
The warning applies to anyone who consumed items from the salad bar at the Logjam Restaurant on Route 9 in Queensbury on September 13-15, or 20-21. The restaurant is located in a strip of factory outlets off Exit 20 of the Adirondack Northway (I-87) and is popular with both local residents and tourists, including many people who attended the recent Adirondack Balloon Festival.
As a precaution, officials of the New York State Department of Health, and public health officials from Warren, Washington and Saratoga counties are advising that individuals who may have been exposed receive a dose of immune globulin promptly. To be effective, the shot must be administered as soon as possible and no later than two weeks after exposure.
The warning was issued after a Logjam Restaurant employee was diagnosed with hepatitis A (also known as infectious hepatitis). Hepatitis A is transmitted by person-to-person contact and also by consuming food handled by an infected individual.
Health officials said the employee continued to work after becoming ill and may have contaminated raw vegetables during food preparation. No other employees have contracted the infectious disease, and only those patrons who ate salad bar items are considered to be at risk. An investigation thus far does not indicate that the employee handled any other foods.
Officials say the restaurant has a history of satisfactory sanitary inspections and management is cooperating fully with their investigation.
Hepatitis A is a contagious viral illness that affects the liver. Symptoms include fatigue, poor appetite, fever and vomiting. As the disease progresses, urine may become darker in color and jaundice -- a yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes -- may occur. Symptoms generally appear three to four weeks after exposure. The disease is rarely fatal and most persons recover in a few weeks without any complications. However, prompt treatment with immune globulin minimizes the chance of becoming ill.
Careful handwashing after toileting is the most effective way to stop the spread of hepatitis A. Food service employees are prohibited from touching ready-to-eat foods with their bare hands. They also should refrain from working if they are sick, officials said.
Public health clinics have been scheduled to provide immune globulin to affected Warren and Saratoga County residents. Clinics will be held at the respective county's public health service office on the following days and times:
Immune Globulin Clinic Schedule:
- Thursday, September 26 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
- Friday, September 27 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
- Saturday, September 28 10:00 a.m. - 12 Noon
- Sunday, September 29 10:00 a.m. - 12 Noon
New Yorkers who live in other counties or out-of-state residents who dined at the Logjam Restaurant on the affected dates and consumed salad bar items should consult with their personal health care provider, or contact their local public health agency for advice about treatment.
A press conference has been scheduled for Thursday, September 26 at 12:00 Noon at the Warren County Municipal Center, Route 9, Queensbury.
9/25/96-114OPA Contact: Robert Hinckley, Director, Public Affairs (518) 474-7354
New York State Department of Health Posted 9/26/96