Montco restaurant can reopen as officials continue to investigate deadly hepatitis A outbreak

A total of 13 hepatitis A are under investigation, officials said.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The Montgomery County Office of Public Health announced Thursday that it has cleared an Italian restaurant to reopen as officials continue to investigate a deadly hepatitis A outbreak.

Gino's Restaurant in West Norriton was closed on January 7, but officials have not confirmed the restaurant to be the source of the outbreak.

A total of 13 hepatitis A are under investigation, officials said. Ten are confirmed and three remain suspect. Of the ten confirmed cases, seven people were were the hospital at one point in time, but none currently remain hospitalized.

Three deaths are linked to this outbreak.

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.

A previous version of this story said people remained in the hospital as of January 20, but has been corrected to reflect that no patients remain hospitalized.
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