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Erie County officials warn of Hepatitis A exposure

Erie County officials say they've identified a food service employee with Hepatitis A who worked at two locations in the county.

BUFFALO, NY -- Erie County officials say they've identified a food service employee with Hepatitis A who worked at two locations in the county.

The employee worked at the Brookdale Senior Living facility in Williamsville, as well as Al-e-oops Restaurant in Lancaster.

Al-e-oops issued this statement:

“The owners of Al-E-Oops are first concerned for our co-worker and our patrons. We hope and expect that he will recover quickly and fully, and no one else who worked at or visited our restaurant will contract this disease.”“As our county leaders said, there is only a very small chance that people can catch the illness due to this potential exposure. We have and will continue to cooperate with all health officials. And, as always, we will operate our restaurant to the highest health and safety standards, as we have – without any similar prior incident – since we opened in 1984.”

Officials say they believe there is a low-risk of exposure and that the worker did practice good hygiene while working. The employee is recovering and is currently not working.

Customers at Al-e-oops who ate there between January 20 through January 23, 2018 and January 27 through January 30, 2018 are at risk.

About 35 Brookdale residents 40 staff members and those who visited the facility and ate the food from Jan. 16 through Jan. 31st are at risk.

If you are concerned you have been exposed to Hepatitis A, you should contact your health care provider.

According to the New York State Department of Health's website, Hepatitis A is "spread by a fecal-oral route: putting something in the mouth, even though it may look clean, that has been contaminated with the stool of a person with hepatitis A, through close person-to-person contact, or by eating or drinking contaminated food or water."

Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein says Hepatitis A can make you feel like you have flu-like symptoms. Symptoms include: fever, jaundice (yellowing of skin), fatigue, loss of appetite,

nausea, abdominal discomfort and dark urine.

Brookdale says it's informing those who are at risk and will provide free vaccines ... and that nothing like this has happened before.

A free Hepatitis A immunization clinic to assist people who are at risk will be held at the Bowmansville Fire Station on Main St. on Feb. 7th from 3pm to 8pm. Immunizations will be offered only to individuals who consumed food prepared at Al-e-oops January 27-30.

Residents, visitors and staff at Brookdale Williamsville should contact the facility for more information about whether they should receive a Hepatitis A vaccination.

VIDEO: Erie County officials discuss Hepatitis A exposure