ROANOKE, Va. – The Roanoke Valley is seeing more cases of hepatitis A in the restaurant scene.
An employee at Luigi’s Gourmet Italian Restaurant in Roanoke, located at 3301 Brambleton Ave, was recently diagnosed with hepatitis A, according to the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts.
Health officials say that this employee “may have had limited involvement in handling food prior to the food being cooked before consumption.” According to the health districts, cooking food kills the virus that causes hepatitis A, so this new diagnosis does not meet the criteria for exposure at this time.
Anyone who ate at the restaurant between April 26 - May 17 is urged to get vaccinated against hepatitis A.
The Roanoke City Health Department is offering the vaccine to patrons who ate at the restaurant during that time frame.
Vaccinations will be available at the health department located on the second floor of 1502 Williamson Rd., Roanoke, VA 24012.
Patrons can get vaccinated at the following times:
- Thursday, May 19, 3-6 p.m.
- Friday, May 20, 8:30 - 11:30 a.m. and 1-4 p.m.
Hepatitis A is the inflammation of the liver caused by the hepatitis A virus.
Symptoms of hepatitis A include jaundice, fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine or light-colored stools. Officials say symptoms may develop 15 to 50 days after exposure.
Exposure to the hepatitis A virus can occur through direct contact with an infected person or by consuming food or drink that has been contaminated.
The RCAHD says that if you develop any of these symptoms to seek medical care and let your healthcare provider know about the possible exposure. Those who develop should stay home from work, especially if they work in food service, health care or child care, according to the health district.
For more information on hepatitis A, click here.