Hepatitis A: bartaco Outbreak Spills Over to Sleepy Hollow Country Club
The Westchester County Department of Health says the new outbreak is smaller, but those affected should still seek treatment.
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Port Chester taco joint bartaco briefly closed late last month in a voluntary effort to help contain potential exposure to the liver-attacking virus hepatitis A. Now it seems one of the five confirmed people exposed at bartaco spread the virus to a Sleepy Hollow Country Club employee, according to the Westchester Health Department.
Club patrons who ate or drank on the premises — especially in the Grill Room — between October 27 and November 4 are encouraged to seek preventative treatment either through their healthcare provider or register for one of the Health Department’s free clinic sessions at 134 Court Street in White Plains or Phelps Hospital in Sleepy Hollow.
Club members may have been exposed as far back as October 21, but as preventative treatment is only possible within the first two weeks after exposure, those potentially exposed prior to October 31 should monitor their health and contact their physician or other care providers should they begin to experience any symptoms such as fatigue, fever, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, diarrhea, dark urine, or jaundice. Symptoms generally appear within 4 weeks of exposure, but may range between 15 and 50 days.
“Hepatitis A is generally a mild illness,” said Commissioner of Health Dr. Sherlita Amler. “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.”
At the Health Department’s press conference Friday, officials said the Sleepy Hollow outbreak is expected to be far smaller than the initial infection at bartaco, which resulted in the department treating upwards of 3,000 individuals.
"We're not expecting to be treating thousands this time," Dr. Amler said.
Sleepy Hollow Country Club has voluntarily closed for the time being to sanitize their kitchens and vaccinate all employees. “We value the health and protection of everyone who enjoys Sleepy Hollow”, said General Manager Eric Rulein in the Westchester.gov press release. “We ask for everyone’s patience while we scrub the club from top to bottom to insure a safe place for our members and their guests to dine.”