August 1, 2019
Media Contact: Lorrie Andrew-Spear, Lorrie.Andrew-Spear@vdh.virginia.gov
(Sterling) –An employee at Señor Ramon at 22455 Davis Drive in Sterling, Virginia, has been diagnosed with hepatitis A. As a result, persons eating at this restaurant from July 10, 2019 through July 26, 2019 may have been exposed to hepatitis A. Management at Señor Ramon notified the Loudoun County Health Department about the situation and has been complying fully with all requests. There is no indication of any food products at Señor Ramon being the source of infection and no indication that patrons at other locations were affected.
Individuals who have not been previously vaccinated for hepatitis A, nor had the disease in the past, are susceptible to infection. Susceptible individuals who ate or drank anything from Señor Ramon at 22455 Davis Drive in Sterling between July 18, 2019 and July 26, 2019 may still benefit from vaccine or immune globulin to prevent hepatitis A if received within two weeks of the date of exposure. Hepatitis A vaccine is available at various urgent care clinics and pharmacies in the community and at the Loudoun County Health Department.
Hepatitis A is an inflammation of the liver caused by the hepatitis A virus. The classic symptom of hepatitis A is jaundice, which is a yellowing of the skin or the eyes. Other symptoms of hepatitis A 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, which can occur through direct contact with another person who has the infection or by consuming food or drink that has been contaminated with the virus. Persons are at increased risk of acquiring hepatitis A when they have been in close and continuous contact with an infected individual, particularly in a household or day care setting.
While vaccination is not considered helpful more than 14 days after exposure, it is still important to contact your medical provider to be evaluated if you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, even after two weeks have elapsed. It is also very important for people who have symptoms of hepatitis A to stay home from work, especially if they work in food service, health care or child care.
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 against hepatitis A has reduced the risk of this disease in the past decade. Vaccination is available to anyone, but specifically recommended for all children, for travelers to certain countries, and for people at high risk for infection with the virus (i.e., intravenous drug users, men who have sex with men, persons with clotting factor disorders, etc.). Hepatitis A vaccine is available from health care providers (including some pharmacies and travel clinics) to protect against this disease.
For more information on hepatitis A, visit: www.vdh.virginia.gov/epidemiology/epidemiology-fact-sheets/hepatitis-a/.