PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A third person has died following a hepatitis A outbreak in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, according to health officials.
Montgomery County officials are investigating Gino's Restaurant in West Norriton to determine if it's linked to the outbreak.
The Montgomery County Office of Public Health closed the restaurant on January 7, but Gino's has not been confirmed to be the source of the outbreak.
More than 12 hepatitis A cases are currently under investigation and seven people are still in the hospital.
An attorney for Gino's questioned the county's investigation, pointing out that no employees at the restaurant have tested positive for hepatitis A.
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:
- Loss of appetite
- 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.