Hepatitis A warning issued to patrons of Sokyo restaurant
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NSW Health has issued a warning to customers of Sokyo restaurant at The Star casino complex in Sydney that a staff member has been diagnosed with hepatitis A.
Dr Vicky Sheppeard, the director of communicable diseases at NSW Health, said patrons may have been exposed to hepatitis A if they dined at the Japanese restaurant during the evening of September 20-24, 26, 27 and 29, October 2 and October 4-8.
She also said patrons should visit their GP if concerned.
"There is a safe and effective hepatitis A vaccine available through GPs for those who are worried," Dr Sheppeard said. "But the hepatitis A vaccination is not considered necessary on the basis of this low-risk exposure."
A food handler who wo rked in a "hot food area" of the restaurant's kitchen is believed to have acquired the infection during an overseas holiday.
The member of staff was diagnosed with hepatitis A after he was referred to a hospital by a GP.Advertisement
After telling hospital staff where he worked, the NSW Food Authority contacted Sokyo on Wednesday night and conducted a review of the restaurant's processes and hygiene systems on Thursday.
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A spokesman for The Star said: "The NSW Food Autho rity has also confirmed the processes and hygiene systems at Sokyo are robust after completing a comprehensive review of the restaurant. There is no ongoing risk to diners."
He also said the restaurant had attempted to contact international guests who had dined at Sokyo on the dates in question.
NSW Health said in a statement that the case is not related to the ongoing outbreak of hepatitis A in Sydney, which led authorities to investigate potentially contaminated food after 12 cases were confirmed.
Hepatitis A is caused by a virus that spreads in contaminated food and water or through poor hygiene.
Symptoms can include vomiting, fever, nausea, yellowing of the skin, dark urine and pale stools. The disease may cause infections and damage the liver.
"Most people with hepatitis A in Australia catch the infection overseas, through eating contaminated food, drinking contaminated water or coming into direct contact, including sexual contact, with a n infectious person," Dr Sheppeard said.
Sokyo patrons are advised to contact their local public health unit on 1300 066 055 or their GP if they have any questions or concerns.
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