The Department of Health in Sarasota conducted an epidemiological investigation and determined a person working at P.F. Chang’s at 766 South Osprey in Sarasota from November 6-17 may have been infectious.

If you ate or drank at the restaurant between November 6-17, the Department of Health says the Hepatitis A vaccine may provide protection against the disease if given within two weeks after exposure.

If you previously have received the Hepatitis A vaccine or have had a past history of a Hepatitis A infection, you are considered immune to the Hepatitis A virus and do not need to take additional action.

Anyone who went to the restaurant should monitor for symptoms of Hepatitis A infection, including sudden onset of abdominal discomfort, dark urine, fever diarrhea, pale white stools and yellow skin and eyes (jaundice). Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention promptly.

Those with specific questions about exposure to Hepatitis A at P.F. Chang’s can call 941-861-2873 to reach the health department’s epidemiology staff.

This is the third time this year that a food service worker has tested positive for Hepatitis A. In June, a food service worker at a Sarasota deli and a food service worker at a seafood restaurant on Holmes Beach both tested positive for the disease.

Health officials in Sarasota County want the public to know that less than five percent of cases involving Hepatitis A infections. Officials say the majority of cases are close contacts of persons who are experiencing homelessness, or persons who use injected or non-injected drugs.

Once a case of Hepatitis A has been reported to the health department by a doctor, a county health department epidemiologist interviews the patient, creates a timeline of their last 50 days, including where they traveled, worked, and their food history, then identifies anyone who was in close contact to recommend the Hepatitis A vaccine to help prevent the possible spread of the illness.