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Thursday, March 1, 2007

Swimsuits, Celebs and Wolfgang Puck / Slice Me Off A Nice Piece Of That Hepatitis - A Please

LOS ANGELES — There may have been an unwanted guest at some swank Hollywood events earlier this month, including Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue party.

A Wolfgang Puck Catering worker has been diagnosed with the hepatitis-A virus and may have exposed guests at several events.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health says the risk of illness is "quite low'' but anyone who ate raw food at Sport Illustrated's party February 14th is urged to receive a preventive shot.

The hepatitis-A virus can be spread through contaminated food and water. While it is rarely fatal, it attacks the liver and can cause fever, diarrhea and jaundice.

Puck's restaurants and prepackaged foods are not affected, nor was Sunday's post-Oscars Governors Ball.

Beyonce safe from Hepatitis A

Los Angeles - Beyonce Knowles attended a Sports Illustrated party where guests may have been exposed to hepatitis A but she was not at risk of catching the illness because she did not sample the food, her publicist said on Wednesday.

"Thank goodness, neither one of us ate. According to the health department, she wasn't at risk," Alan Nierob said.

The February 14 bash in West Hollywood, California, was to celebrate the magazine's latest swimsuit issue, and was attended by Knowles and many of the magazine's models.

The party was one of 13 catered events where people may have been exposed to hepatitis A by an infected cook working for Wolfgang Puck Catering, authorities said.

Hepatitis A Virus

Hepatitis A virus (HAV) is classified with the enterovirus group of the Picornaviridae family. HAV has a single molecule of RNA surrounded by a small (27 nm diameter) protein capsid and a buoyant density in CsCl of 1.33 g/ml. Many other picornaviruses cause human disease, including polioviruses, coxsackieviruses, echoviruses, and rhinoviruses (cold viruses).

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