An employee who worked at three Famous Anthony’s restaurant locations in Roanoke has been diagnosed with hepatitis A. As a result, the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts (RCAHD) announced Friday that anyone who visited any of these three Famous Anthony’s locations — 4913 Grandin Road, 6499 Williamson Road or 2221 Crystal Spring Ave. — from August 10 through 26 only, may have been exposed.
To protect your health and prevent further spread of illness, if you meet these criteria and are not vaccinated against hepatitis A, please monitor yourself for these symptoms:
- jaundice: yellowing of the skin or the eyes,
- loss of appetite,
- abdominal pain,
- dark urine, or
- light-colored stools.
If you develop any of these symptoms, please seek medical care and let your healthcare provider know of your possible exposure. It is also very important for people with symptoms to stay home from work, especially if they work in food service, health care or childcare.
The RCAHD is currently investigating nine cases of hepatitis A associated with this exposure. The leadership team at Famous Anthony’s has been assisting, and is fully cooperating, with the investigation.
Hepatitis A vaccine is specifically recommended for children, for travelers to certain countries and for people at high risk for infection with the virus (intravenous drug users, men who have sex with men and persons with clotting factor disorders). The vaccine is available from health care providers, including pharmacies and travel clinics.
Hepatitis A is an inflammation of the liver caused by the hepatitis A virus. Anyone who is not currently vaccinated against Hepatitis A is encouraged to get the vaccine, which is currently available from many healthcare providers, health clinics and local pharmacies and is part of routine childhood vaccination series.
Exposure to the hepatitis A virus may occur through direct contact with an infected person or by consuming food or drink that has been contaminated. Symptoms may develop 15 to 50 days following exposure. People are at increased risk if they have been in close and continuous contact with an infected person, particularly in a household or day care setting.
Frequent handwashing with soap and warm water after using the bathroom, changing a diaper or before preparing food can help prevent the spread of hepatitis A. Routine vaccination reduces the risk of this disease and is available to anyone. Virginia has experienced widespread outbreaks of hepatitis A across the Commonwealth, and vaccination is recommended for everyone.
For more information, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/epidemiology/epidemiology-fact-sheets/hepatitis-a/.