Thousands may have been exposed recently to hepatitis A at a Pappasito's Cantina on Houston's north side, and shots are being offered to those who may have been infected.

Because hepatitis is contagious, the Harris County Department of Public Health is offering free shots of "immune globulin." However health officials say the shot only works for those who've come in contact with hepatitis within the previous two weeks. After that, anyone possibly exposed should watch for symptoms of fever, nausea, vomiting, exhaustion. Anyone who experiences such symptoms should see a doctor.

The antibody shots are available 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday at the Mangum-Howell Center, 2500 Frick Road.

The virus is transmitted through close contact with someone who may not have washed their hands thoroughly after using the bathroom. The health department says a waiter at the restaurant was recently diagnosed with the condition and may have passed it along to co-workers and patrons.

Anyone who visited the restaurant Jan. 23-27, Jan. 30-31 or Feb. 1, 3, 7, 8 or 9 should watch for possible symptoms.

Hepatitis A is rarely fatal, and most people who have it recover in a short time with no long-term effects.