July 2, 2022

Employee at Luigi’s Restaurant in Roanoke, VA Diagnosed With Hepatitis A

An employee at Luigi’s restaurant in Roanoke, Virginia was recently diagnosed with hepatitis A, according to the Virginia Department of Health. That employee may have had limited involvement handling food before the food was cooked. Cooking food kills the virus that causes hepatitis A, so this situation does not meet the criteria of an exposure.

Employee at Luigi's Restaurant in Roanoke, VA Diagnosed With Hepatitis A

But, “given the high level of sensitivity of hepatitis A in our community and out of an abundance of caution,” the Roanoke City Health Department is offering the hepatitis A vaccine to anyone who ate at Luigi’s restaurant between the dates of April 26 through May 17, 2022. This is the same city where the Famous Anthony’s hepatitis A outbreak occurred. That outbreak sickened and hospitalized dozens of patrons, and at least three people died.

The Roanoke City Health Department is offering hepatitis A vaccines to anyone who ate at that restaurant during that time frame. The vaccinations will be available on the 2nd floor at 1502 Williamson Road in Roanoke on Thursday, May 19, from 3:00 to 6:00 pm, and on Friday, May 20, from 8:30 am to 11:30 am and 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

Hepatitis A is a virus that causes inflammation of the liver. Anyone who is not currently vaccinated against this virus is encouraged to get the vaccine. You can find it at local pharmacies and from healthcare providers and clinics. Virginia has experienced widespread outbreaks of hepatitis A and vaccination is recommended for everyone.

Exposure to this virus can occur through contaminated food and drink, through person-to-person contact, and through contact with fomites, or inanimate objects. Symptoms usually begin 15 to 50 days after exposure. And people are infectious before they even know they are sick.

The best way to prevent the transmission of this virus is to get vaccinated. In addition, stay home when you are sick, and wash your hands after using the bathroom and before preparing food or eating.

 

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