ROANOKE, Va. – The VDH has released an update of yet another hepatitis A exposure case in a Roanoke Valley restaurant, but the risk to the public is low, according to Health Director Cynthia Morrow.
On Friday, the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts said that an employee of Billy’s Restaurant in Roanoke has been infected with hepatitis A.
The departments said they sent the environmental health team to the establishment to conduct an investigation, which included interviewing restaurant staff.
The investigation determined that while the employee worked for the infectious period of hepatitis A, from June 20 to July 6, the employee did not handle food, according to the release.
Because of the investigation findings, the VDH said the situation does not meet the criteria to recommend a post-exposure hepatitis A vaccine for patrons of the restaurant.
Cynthia Morrow, the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts Health Director, said that while the risk to the public is low, the option of the vaccine is still recommended and available to the entire community.
“While we are disappointed to announce another case connected to a current hepatitis A outbreak in our area, we believe this situation is low risk for the public,” said Morrow. “Still, the hepatitis A vaccine is recommended for all, since the current outbreak. Individuals who are uninsured or underinsured are encouraged to reach out to RCAHD local health departments for vaccine opportunities.”
The release said that the Roanoke City Health Department is offering free doses of hepatitis A vaccine to the public on a first-come, first-served basis, while supplies last at a mobile clinic located across the street from the Roanoke Health Department on Williamson Road in Roanoke.