Health Dept. Runs for Cover On Puck Scare

2/28/2007 2:23 PM PST

Health Dept. Runs for Cover On Puck Scare

The Wolfgang Puck hepatitis scare has caused both Puck and the L.A. County Department of Public Health to circle the wagons. An official from County Health has just refused to give TMZ a list of catered Puck parties where guests may have been exposed to Hepatitis A.

Dr. David Dassey, the Deputy Chief of Acute Communicable Disease Control for County Health tells TMZ that of the 14 parties that the infected employee catered, the ship has sailed on 10 of them because they are outside the 14-day limit for getting a preventative shot.

The 14-day limit for the Sports Illustrated party is today. That leaves three other parties. Dassey refused to give TMZ that list, though he did not cite any legal grounds. When pressed, Dassey said his Department contacted the hosts of the three parties yesterday, and told the hosts to get in touch with the guests. Dassey says his Department offered to help the hosts get in touch but does not know if the hosts have taken up the Department's offer.

Dr. Dassey does not know if the hosts have gotten in touch with the guests, with guest lists that ranged between 26 to 45 people at each of the three parties. The 14-day deadline for one of the parties is tomorrow, but Dr. Dassey doesn't know if the guests have been contacted yet.

Dassey acknowledged that the hosts have no legal responsibility to contact the guests, whom he said "would be at risk" if no one tells them what happened. Dassey was steadfast -- he would not allow TMZ to publish specific information about any of the parties, even if the guests have not been contacted.