Health Alert: Potential Hepatitis A Exposure at Local Restaurant

October 5, 2019

Media Contact: Eastern Region PIO Larry Hill, 757-683-9175

(Newport News, Va.) — The Peninsula Health District issues the following alert: an employee at Mr C’s Pizza & Subs at 493 Wythe Creek Rd, Poquoson, VA 23662, has been diagnosed with hepatitis A. As a result, persons who consumed food from the restaurant on any of the following dates – September 12-21, September 30, and October 1, 2019 – may have been exposed to hepatitis A. Although the risk to the public from this exposure is low, health officials share this information in an effort to keep the community informed. There is no indication of any food products at this restaurant being the source of the infection.

Individuals who have not been previously vaccinated and who have never had Hepatitis A infection are susceptible to the disease, and may be at risk if they ate anything from Mr C’s Pizza & Subs on the dates mentioned above. These individuals may benefit from vaccine to prevent Hepatitis A if received within two weeks from the date of exposure. Hepatitis A vaccine is available at various urgent care clinics and pharmacies. It is also available at the Peninsula Health District for free or at a reduced cost.

Hepatitis A is an acute, self-limiting disease caused by the hepatitis A virus resulting in liver inflammation. It can be spread by direct contact with another person who has the infection, by consuming contaminated food or drink, or by touching surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. The classic symptom of Hepatitis A is jaundice, which is a yellowing of the skin or the eyes. Other symptoms include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, and light-colored stools. Symptoms develop 15-50 days after exposure to the virus. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of Hepatitis A, you should contact your medical provider immediately.

It is very important for anyone who has symptoms of Hepatitis A to stay home from work, especially if they work in food service, healthcare, or childcare. Frequent hand washing with soap and warm water after using the bathroom, after changing a diaper, and before preparing food can help prevent the spread of hepatitis A.

If you have any questions related to Hepatitis A or the vaccine, contact the Peninsula Health District at 757-594-7427 or your local health department. For more information, visit http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/immunization/hav/.