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Officials Hepatitis cases linked to California restaurant

LONG BEACH, Calif. — Several cases of hepatitis A were confirmed in customers who ate in the same California restaurant, health officials said.

The Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services announced Friday that the patients ate at 555 East American Steakhouse on or around Dec. 24, KABC-TV reports.

The department did not disclose how many cases were diagnosed.

The source of the illness is still under investigation, officials said.

Hepatitis A can be transmitted through consumption of contaminated food or water. Symptoms can include fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, dark urine, nausea, and jaundice.

Most patients eventually recover completely, but some may require hospitalization or develop severe illness, health officials said.

The restaurant’s management and staff are cooperating with health officials and there is no continuing risk to the public, officials said.

“We are notifying the public of the exposure so that people can immediately seek medical care if they begin to develop symptoms,” Long Beach health officer Dr. Anissa Davis said in a statement.

“Individuals who have been vaccinated for hepatitis A or have had the disease are protected,” Davis said. “Those who are not immune to hepatitis A should consult their medical provider if they develop symptoms, and let their provider know they may have been exposed to hepatitis A.”

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