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Customers of popular beach restaurant warned of hepatitis A exposure

SAN DIEGO – Customers at one of the most popular beachfront restaurants in Pacific Beach are being warned that they may have been exposed to the hepatitis A virus.

County health officials said Friday that anyone who ate at the World Famous restaurant at 711 Pacific Beach Dr. on seven dates was potentially exposed to a person infected with the virus. The dates of possible exposure are:

  • Aug. 28, 29 and 30 between 3 p.m. and 11 p.m.
  • Sept 3. and 4 between 9 am. and 6 p.m.
  • Sept. 10 and 11 from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Officials said that there is no known current risk of hepatitis exposure at the restaurant and patrons who were there on dates other than the ones listed above are not thought to be at risk of exposure.

"The risk to the public is low, but anyone who ate or had beverages at the restaurant on those dates and times should be aware of the signs and symptoms of hepatitis A," said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., San Diego County public health officer. "We encourage anyone who has not had the hepatitis A vaccine and those who may have been exposed to contact their health care provider."

World Famous General Manager Erik Berkley told FOX 5 as soon as they learned of the potential exposure they acted quickly.

“Because of the potential exposure we decided to voluntarily close our restaurant and take some extra precautionary measures. We hired a professional hazmat crew to come into the restaurant and help us clean and sanitize the establishment,” Berkley said.

Hepatitis A is usually spread when people eat food contaminated by an infected person. The severity of the infection can vary from mild, flu-like symptoms lasting about two weeks to more severe illness lasting seven weeks or longer. In rare cases, it can be deadly.

More information on preventing and treating hepatitis A is available at the County website and at the Centers for Disease Control.