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Experts say Hepatitis A cases should have been easily avoidable

Posted at 6:25 PM, Mar 13, 2019

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Last Year there were 32 Hepatitis A cases in Erie County. This year there are already six. Experts think this shouldn't be happening.

"Everything is avoidable. It's all avoidable," Lori Till, a instructor in Serv Safe, an FDA approved guidelines for safe food handling, and associate professor at Buffalo State, said.

She said the issue is that not enough people are trained according to proper food handling standards.

"I think there's a lack of education for not only the operators of food venues but also food handlers," Till said.

The most recent case at Destiny's in Buffalo has some of its patrons worried they may have been exposed to the disease. That's why dozens showed up to the first of two free vaccine clinics at Emil Christian Fellowship Church in Buffalo.

"I want to know if I had it," Michael Crissy, who ate at Destiny's recently said.

The cause for the uptick in Hep-A cases is unknown to Erie County; however, health officials say getting vaccinated is extremely important.

"So we are seeing more and more of this not only in our area. This is a problem throughout the United States, and this is really an emerging risk," Dr. Gale Burstein, the Erie County Health Commissioner, said.

The second free vaccine clinic is Thursday at the Emil Christian Fellowship Church on Chalmers Avenue in Buffalo from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. The County is ready to give out around 700 free vaccines.