News from Hepatitis Week of June 29, 2003 / Vol. 3 No. 26

Hepatitis A Vaccinations Urged for Los Angeles Taco Bell Patrons

Los Angeles County health officials urged anyone who ate at a Taco Bell restaurant in Alhambra, a city eight miles east of downtown Los Angeles, within the past few weeks to get vaccinated immediately after a worker was diagnosed with hepatitis A.

Health officials said the risk that customers had contracted the disease was low, and that the recommended iimmune globulin vaccinations were a precaution. The vaccination only is effective if received within 14 days of exposure.

"We have no way of knowing if this person contaminated the food," said Laurene Mascola, chief of Los Angeles County's Acute Communicable Disease Control Program.

Taco Bell spokeswoman Laurie Gannon said it was the first known case of the illness in at least 10 years among Taco Bell workers in the area.

Other sources: Los Angeles County Health Department