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     Terry DeMio, tdemio@enquirer.com

Delaware public health officials are warning patrons of the Buffalo Wild Wings in Middletown that they may have been exposed to hepatitis A at the restaurant between March 31 and April 10.

The dates cover much of March Madness and the NCAA Basketball Tournament, an event that draws a lot of customers at the sports bar and grill.

When told Wednesday about the possible exposures, the restaurant voluntarily closed for cleaning and sanitization before reopening Thursday .

The state did not say whether the infection was from an employee or customer. A spokeswoman said that privacy laws prevent them from naming the source of the infection or the source's status.

Hepatitis A is a viral infection that hits the liver. It spreads when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food, or drinks contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from an infected person.

The virus can spread at a restaurant when an infected person does not wash his / her hands adequately after using the toilet, prepares food or shares utensils with others while eating.

Symptoms may include loss of appetite, nausea, tiredness, fever, stomach pain, yellowing of the skin of the eyes, and brown-colored urine and light -colored stools. They usually appear 15 to 50 days after exposure.

If anyone develops these symptoms, they should stay at home and contact their health care provider immediately. ” style=”float:left;width:100%; margin-right:15px; padding-bottom:10px”/>