UPDATE: Health officials in Montgomery County are investigating a second death in connection to a Hepatitis A outbreak that closed down a local Italian restaurant.
Food Service Workers should be vaccinated.
As of Nov. 9, 2021, health officials in Roanoke, Virginia, confirmed a total of 50 primary cases and two secondary cases of hepatitis A linked to a hepatitis A positive food service employee who worked at three Famous Anthony’s restaurants. Of those 52 cases, there have been at least 31 hospitalizations with one liver transplant, and unfortunately, three deaths.
Hepatitis A is a highly contagious disease that attacks the liver. It is also the only vaccine-preventable foodborne illness. Hepatitis A vaccines are available and given out nationwide for free by local health departments, or at a cost of less than $100.
So why aren’t all food workers vaccinated against hepatitis A? Your guess is as good as mine. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hepatitis A vaccines are safe and effective at preventing hepatitis A infections. Severe allergic reactions following vaccination are rare, and the common side effects are usually mild and last 1-2 days.
Had the food service employee who exposed patrons of three Famous Anthony’s restaurants been vaccinated, the Seattle law firm Marler Clark would not be representing 27 individuals in this outbreak and the families of two who died. The cost to this restaurant will be in the tens of millions of dollars and will likely result in bankruptcy.
The Montgomery County Office of Public Health (OPH) announced today the temporary closure of Gino’s Ristorante & Pizzeria in West Norriton in relation to a Hepatitis A Virus (HAV) outbreak in the county. The restaurant will be closed until further notice while the investigation continues.
Authorities believe the outbreak began in late November, and current data suggests that the outbreak “no longer presents a risk.” However, officials are continuing to look into the situation. Per standard public health protocols, OPH coordinated with the Pennsylvania Department of Health to issue a health advisory on Wednesday. As a result, OPH continues to receive additional information to support its investigation and identify additional potential cases. Investigation conducted to date suggests the exposure occurred in late November no longer presents a risk. However, additional investigation into probable cases resulting from the health advisory associated with this outbreak are underway. In the interest of public health, the restaurant has been shut down until further notice.
At this time, 11 total cases are under investigation, with 9 confirmed cases of Hepatitis A and 2 potential cases of Hepatitis A. Of the 9 confirmed cases, 7 people were hospitalized. To date, one death is confirmed and one additional death is under investigation.
Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection. The virus is generally spread when people come into trace amounts of stool from an infected person through food, drink or an object. The disease can also be spread through close contact. It can be prevented by vaccination.
• Yellow skin or eyes
• Not wanting to eat
• Upset stomach
• Throwing up
• Stomach pain
• Dark urine or light-colored stools
• Joint pain
• Feeling tired
Hepatitis A: Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Hepatitis A outbreaks. The Hepatitis A lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Hepatitis A and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $800 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation. Our Hepatitis A lawyers have litigated Hepatitis A cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of sources, such as green onions, lettuce and restaurant food. The law firm has brought Hepatitis A lawsuits against such companies as Costco, Subway, McDonald’s, Red Robin, Chipotle, Quiznos and Carl’s Jr. We proudly represented the family of Donald Rockwell, who died after consuming Hepatitis A tainted food and Richard Miller, who required a liver transplant after eating food at a Chi-Chi’s restaurant.
If you or a family member became ill with a Hepatitis A infection after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Hepatitis A attorneys for a free case evaluation.