UPDATE: Free Hepatitis A Vaccines for La Fontana Patrons, Staff

3:05PM: Rockland County health officials announce:

A confirmed case of acute Hepatitis A has been identified in a food handler at the La Fontana restaurant in Nyack. Patrons and other employees may have been exposed to Hepatitis A virus between March 19 and April 1, 2014. 

The Health Department will offer free Hepatitis A vaccine to restaurant patrons and employees starting Saturday, April 12 from 11 am - 5 pm, Sunday, April 13 from 11 am to 3 pm and Monday, April 14 from 9 am to 12 pm at the Rockland County Fire Training Center, 35 Firemens Memorial Dr in Pomona.

The Rockland County Department of Health is recommending that all people who ate at the restaurant on March 29, March 30 and April 1, 2014 receive Hepatitis A vaccine. Patrons who ate at the restaurant between March 19 and March 28 will not benefit from vaccination. In order for the vaccine to be most effective, people who have been exposed to Hepatitis A should be vaccinated within 14 days. The earlier the vaccine is given, the more effective it is in preventing the disease. In general, the vaccine is 80% to 90% effective.

Restaurant patrons may also receive vaccine at their medical provider’s office. People who were exposed but have already received two doses of Hepatitis A vaccine sometime in their life do not need another shot; all others should be vaccinated.

Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by a virus. It is spread from person to person by putting something in the mouth (even though it might look clean) that has been contaminated with traces of fecal matter from an infected person. Most people recover within a few weeks with bed rest and by avoiding alcoholic beverages. There are no special medicines or antibiotics that can be used to treat a person once the symptoms appear. 

Symptoms include jaundice (yellowing of eyes and skin), fatigue, abdominal pain, nausea, and diarrhea. While some people who have chronic liver disease or a weakened immune system could experience more severe illness and require hospitalization, Hepatitis A is very rarely fatal (fewer than 1% of cases). For more information on Hepatitis A, a fact sheet is attached.

We appreciate the support and assistance of our community residents in Rockland County to help us address emerging health concerns. To obtain additional information, please contact the 

Division of Disease Control & Prevention at 845-364-2997 during business hours.


Patrons and staff of a Nyack restaurant may have been exposed to Hepatitis A via an infected food worker during a recent 13-day period, county officials have announced.  

The Health Department will offer free Hepatitis A vaccines.

Officials will release details at a 2 p.m. press briefing by Rockland County Health Commissioner Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, DO, FAAF in the lobby of Building A at the Dr. Robert L. Yeager Health Center in Pomona. 

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection. According to the Mayo Clinic, "You're most likely to contract hepatitis A from contaminated food or water or from close contact with someone who's already infected. Mild cases of hepatitis A don't require treatment, and most people who are infected recover completely with no permanent liver damage.

"Practicing good hygiene — including washing your hands often — is one of the best ways to protect against hepatitis A."

Check back with Patch for updates. 

Lanning Taliaferro April 11, 2014 at 03:00 PM
Yup, could have, didn't want to.
Jessica April 11, 2014 at 03:06 PM
Lanning Taliaferro April 11, 2014 at 03:16 PM
Thanks for checking back with Patch. The county health department's complete announcement has been added to this article.
John Whitley April 11, 2014 at 07:23 PM
According to a post on the Yahoo Group Nyack Social Scene, La Fontana was going to charge $10 extra for brunch this Sunday because it is Palm Sunday AND a Street Fair day. Guess that this story (that ran as almost-lead on the NY tv networks) is payback time La Fontana. Enjoy extra business from increased "traffic" - don't rip people off !!!!


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