Hepatitis A outbreak linked to Montgomery County restaurant, death under investigation

Hepatitis A (6abc)

Hepatitis A (6abc)

This story originally appeared on 6abc.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health is investigating a hepatitis A outbreak connected to a Montgomery County restaurant that may have resulted in a death.

A public advisory sent from the state health department on Wednesday says there have been eight laboratory-confirmed hepatitis A virus infections associated with an Italian restaurant in Montgomery County.

The health department says they were able to obtain information from seven of the eight cases.

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Officials say six of those affected have been hospitalized. One death is under investigation.

Montgomery County health officials are not identifying the restaurant.

In a statement to Action News, the county says, “The Montgomery County Office of Public Health is not naming the restaurant because they are confident there is minimal risk of ongoing spread or transmission from that location.”

Action News has reached out to Montgomery County for further details.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health provided this information on hepatitis A:

“Hepatitis A is a highly contagious, vaccine-preventable, liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV) ranging in severity from mild infection lasting a few weeks to severe disease lasting several months. Hepatitis A usually spreads when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food, or drinks contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from an infected person. Hepatitis A can also spread from close personal contact with an infected person such as through sex or caring for someone who is ill.”

Signs and symptoms of hepatitis A can include the following:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Dark urine
  • Clay-colored bowel movement
  • Joint pain
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)

This is the latest hepatitis A warning from health officials in the Delaware Valley in recent years.

In November, a Starbucks in Camden County, New Jersey was the center of a hepatitis A investigation.

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