May 18, 2022
Media Contact: Christie Wills, Communications Officer, Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts (RCAHD), firstname.lastname@example.org
Health Alert: Update About Potential Hepatitis A Exposure at Local Restaurant
ROANOKE, Va. – New details have emerged as part of an ongoing investigation conducted by the Virginia Department of Health. The report involves an employee of Luigi’s restaurant in Roanoke who was recently diagnosed with hepatitis A. New information, obtained today, revealed that the employee may have had limited involvement in handling food prior to the food being cooked before consumption. Cooking food kills the virus that causes hepatitis A, therefore this situation does not meet the criteria of an exposure.
Given the high level of sensitivity of hepatitis A in our community, and out of an abundance of caution, the Roanoke City Health Department is offering hepatitis A vaccine to anyone who ate at Luigi’s between the dates of April 26 – May 17. Hepatitis A vaccinations will be available at the Roanoke City Health Department, 2nd Floor, 1502 Williamson Rd., Roanoke, VA 24012 this week 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 an inflammation of the liver caused by the hepatitis A virus. Anyone who is not currently vaccinated against hepatitis A is encouraged to get the vaccine, which is available from many healthcare providers, health clinics and local pharmacies and is part of routine childhood vaccination series.
Exposure to hepatitis A virus may occur through direct contact with an infected person or by consuming food or drink that has been contaminated. Symptoms may develop 15 to 50 days following exposure. People are at increased risk if they have been in close and continuous contact with an infected person, particularly in a household or day care setting.
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 reduces the risk of this disease and is available to anyone. Virginia has experienced widespread outbreaks of hepatitis A across the Commonwealth, and vaccination is recommended for everyone.
For more information, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/epidemiology/epidemiology-fact-sheets/hepatitis-a/.
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