LONG BEACH (CBSLA) – Health officials in Long Beach have determined that more than half a dozen people who dined at a local restaurant last Christmas Eve later contracted hepatitis A.

The Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services reported Friday that it has linked an outbreak of hepatitis A to the 555 East American Steakhouse located at 555 E. Ocean Blvd.

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Several people who ate at the steakhouse on or around Dec. 24 were later diagnosed with hepatitis A, the health department reports.

There were seven confirmed cases as of Friday afternoon.

The source of the disease is still unclear. The health department reports that 555 East American Steakhouse is cooperating fully with investigators and the restaurant is not believed to pose any further risk.

“We are notifying the public of the exposure so that people can immediately seek medical care if they begin to develop symptoms,” City Health Officer Dr. Anissa Davis wrote in a statement. “Individuals who have been vaccinated for hepatitis A or have had the disease are protected. Those who are not immune to hepatitis A should consult their medical provider if they develop symptoms, and let their provider know they may have been exposed to hepatitis A.”

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Officials say at least seven people reported symptoms at the 555 East American Steakhouse. (credit: CBS)

Hepatitis A, an infection of the liver, is transmitted from person-to-person fecal-orally or through contaminated food or water. Symptoms include fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, dark urine, nausea and jaundice. Symptoms will start to appear anywhere from two to seven weeks after exposure.

Most patients usually recover fully, although extreme cases can lead to hospitalization and death.

Back in September of 2017, there was an outbreak of hepatitis A among the homeless in L.A. and across other parts of California. San Diego was forced to declare a public health emergency after 18 people died of the disease and hundreds were sickened.

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For more information on hepatitis A, click here.