One of the bartenders at the upscale Cuban lounge Socialista came back from vacation with a case of Hepatitis A and now more than 800 patrons are being told to get inoculations. That list includes many of the biggest names in Hollywood, music and fashion.
"In a few hours I got sick," bar patron Jorge Estuardo told WCBS-TV's Lou Young. "I did not eat anything. I just had drinks. I suspect something had to do with the drinks or the glassware. I'm not sure."
There were also many everyday people in the bar. Many are regular New Yorkers who liked the high-end excitement of rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous.
"It's the just the hip and happening place you hear so you got to check it out," patron Jennifer Halsop said.
When asked if the idea of going to Socialista to see celebrities is worth the risk, she made a good point.
"Maybe, maybe not," she said. "Maybe not anymore."
New York City Health Department officials say anyone who went to Socialista on Feb. 7 and 8, or after 10 p.m. on Feb. 11, should be inoculated as soon as possible. About 700-800 people were estimated to have visited the bar on those nights.
People who were exposed but have already received two doses of Hepatitis A vaccine sometime in their life do not need another shot; all others should be vaccinated.
Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by virus. It's spread by putting something in one's mouth (even though it might look clean) that is contaminated with traces of fecal matter from the infected person. Most people recover within a few weeks with bed rest and by avoiding alcoholic beverages. There are no special medicines or antibiotics that can be used to treat a person once the symptoms appear.
Symptoms of Hepatitis A include:
Fewer than 1 percent of all cases are fatal.