Famous Anthony’s restaurants in Virginia associated with fatal hepatitis A outbreak

At least three people in Virginia have now died in an outbreak of hepatitis A that has been linked to the famous Anthony’s restaurant chain, according to a report.

Roanoke health authorities say they have confirmed at least 49 cases of the disease, with at least 31 people requiring hospitalization, The Roanoke Times reported. Other suspects remained under investigation, the report said.

“This heartbreaking loss of life illustrates how serious this outbreak is,” Cynthia Morrow, Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts (RCAHD), said in a news release. “Unfortunately, in this situation, we have seen many people experience serious illness, and in some cases, their symptoms continue to develop over weeks.”

“This heartbreaking loss of life illustrates how serious this outbreak is.”

– Cynthia Morrow, Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts

A person confirmed to have hepatitis A was working at three separate Roanoke locations in the famous Anthony’s chain, according to the report. The employee is not identified.

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The disease is considered to be preventable through good personal hygiene practices such as thorough hand washing.

Them in danger

Those most at risk include drug addicts, homeless, sexually active gay men, incarcerated or recently incarcerated and those with chronic liver disease, Roanoke WSLS-TV reported. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine and light stools, the report said.

Famous Anthony’s issued a statement Oct. 15 about the outbreak, according to Food Safety News.

“Famous Anthony’s has fully partnered with Roanoke and Alleghany Health Districts,” the statement said in part. “Famous Anthony’s has provided a safe environment for customers and workers for 35 years, and it continues to work with health authorities and complies with all recommendations given to it by the relevant authorities to ensure the continued safe operation of all its current locations.

“Famous Anthony’s has fully partnered with Roanoke and Alleghany Health Districts.”

– Company statement

“As Famous Anthony’s continues its investigation, it wishes to express that it is aware of the impact this unforeseen event has and continues to have on individuals and families in this community. In addition, Famous Anthony’s offers its deepest concern and sympathy for all the affected. “

Health authorities have confirmed cooperation from the chain, the Times has reported.

Army veteran dies

The first known death was identified as Roanoke County resident James Hamlin, 75, who died Oct. 8 from hepatitis complications, the Times reported. Two more deaths were confirmed Friday, but details were not revealed due to concerns about the patient’s privacy, the report said.

Hamlin’s family said the U.S. Army veteran, who served as a green beret during the Vietnam War, seemed strong and healthy until he suddenly felt nauseous and tired one day in August, the Times reported.

After his symptoms continued, he was hospitalized and died 10 days later, according to the report.

Hepatitis A is known to cause inflammation in the liver, and there is typically an incubation period between exposure to the virus and the development of symptoms, officials said.

No new cases were reported during the past week, health officials said.

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Officials believe that the 10.-27. August was the most likely period for humans to have become infected and that any infected person would probably already have shown symptoms by now.

Vaccines are available to prevent hepatitis A, health ministry officials said, advising the public to seek further information from their doctor or from their local health department.

At least one lawsuit has been filed against the famous Anthony’s in connection with the Virginia eruption. A Franklin County woman filed a lawsuit in early October claiming $ 500,000 in damages, claiming she contracted the virus after eating at the chain, then fell ill and demanded hospitalization and lost time off work, The reported. Times.

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