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Three dead after hepatitis A outbreak linked to restaurant

November 2, 2021 GMT

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) — Three adults have died from complications of a hepatitis A outbreak being linked to a local restaurant chain in Virginia, health officials say.

Officials have identified at least 49 cases and 31 hospitalizations from the outbreak, The Roanoke Times reported. Roanoke Valley’s health district says an employee who worked at three Famous Anthony’s locations in Roanoke was diagnosed with the virus.

The person was hospitalized with complications from the virus, which causes inflammation of the liver. Neither city nor Alleghany Health Districts officials released additional information, citing privacy reasons.

On Oct. 8, Roanoke County resident James Hamlin, 75, was the first confirmed death associated with the outbreak. Late Friday afternoon, the district announced a third adult hospitalized with complications also died.

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Officials say anyone who visited any of the three locations between Aug. 10 and Aug. 27 may have been exposed and should monitor for symptoms, but health district director Cynthia Morrow says anyone who was exposed likely would have experienced symptoms already.

A small number of cases are still under investigation, but no new cases have been reported as of Friday. The incubation period, which accounts for the time between exposure to the virus and the onset of symptoms, passed two weeks ago.