Montco temporarily closes West Norriton restaurant after hepatitis A outbreak

Gino’s Ristorante & Pizzeria is shut until further notice. (6abc)

Gino’s Ristorante & Pizzeria is shut until further notice. (6abc)

The Montgomery County Office of Public Health has temporarily closed Gino’s Ristorante & Pizzeria in West Norriton in connection with the recent outbreak of hepatitis A in the county.

Eleven cases are being investigated, nine of which have been confirmed. Seven people have been hospitalized thus far, and one person has died. In a statement Friday, the county said the restaurant will be closed until further notice while the investigation continues.

The Office of Public Health is coordinating with the Pennsylvania Department of Health. On Wednesday, Montco issued a public health advisory, which led to additional information and the identification of more cases.

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So far, the investigation indicates that the exposure to the hepatitis A virus occurred in November and “no longer presents a risk,” the county says. However, additional cases are emerging because of the advisory earlier this week, leading to the closure of the restaurant “in the interest of public health.”

The exact source of the outbreak remains the focus of the investigation.

The county urges anyone who is experiencing symptoms associated with hepatitis A — such as yellow skin or eyes, loss of appetite, fever, and stomach pain— to contact their doctor.

Some of the best ways to protect oneself from hepatitis A is with good hygiene and the hepatitis A vaccine, the county said. The virus is transmitted through close, personal contact with an infected person or when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food or drinks that are contaminated by small amounts of feces from an infected person.

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