Westchester County issues public health alert over potential exposure to parasitic infection from American Legion Hall dinners

The Westchester County Department of Health is investigating two cases of the parasitic infection toxoplasmosis after American Legion events.

Diane Caruso and William Aguirre

Feb 7, 2024, 10:54 PM

Updated 167 days ago


The Westchester County Health Department recommends people who attended a "Game Dinner" held at the American Legion Post in Mount Kisco on Jan. 19 and Jan. 20 to contact their doctors after several people became sick from food that was served there. 
The American Legion tells News 12 the space was rented out and an outside food vendor prepared the meals. 
The Westchester Health Department says two people have toxoplasmosis which is an infection from a parasite in undercooked meat. 
It's believed they came down with the illness after eating venison, also known as deer meat, served at the event last month.
The official says they have learned about 20 people developed symptoms and so far, test results have come back confirmed for the infection in two.
Their symptoms included fever, muscle aches and sore throats. 
The official says toxoplasmosis is not contagious and there are treatment options, but there is reason for concern. 
"We are particularly concerned about people who may have taken food home and other people may have ingested it," said Dr. Dial Hewlett Jr., a medical director with the county Health Department. "Especially women who might be pregnant and also, individuals who are immunocompromised." 
They have those concerns because it could cause miscarriages or birth defects for pregnant women and could be deadly for those with a weakened immune system.
Dr. Hewlett adds, "We want to make sure that people know that if they did attend one of these dinners, and if they ingested venison, and if they are having symptoms that they should seek medical attention, and we certainly here at the health department will be happy to answer any questions they might have.”
The Health Department can be reached at 914-813-5180 during business hours and 914-813-5000 after hours.
The CDC has recommendations on its website to help prevent toxoplasmosis. 

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