POQUOSON, Va. (WAVY) — Health officials are warning residents after an employee at a local restaurant in Poquoson was diagnosed with Hepatitis A.
In a statement released on Saturday, October 5, officials from the Peninsula Health District stated that an employee at Mr. C’s Pizza & Subs located at 493 Wythe Creek Road in Poquoson was diagnosed with Hepatitis A.
Officials say that customers who may have eaten at the restaurant on September 12-21, September 30, and October 1 of this year may have been exposed to the disease.
Kathy Ulisse has been a manager at Mr. C’s Pizza and Subs for more than two decades. “I asked the health department if we should close and she said absolutely not, we did nothing wrong.”
Ulisse says all of employees must wear gloves at all times. “One of my biggest philosophies is we have the cleanest restaurant in town,” Ulisse said.
The Health departments say the risk of exposure to the public may be low, officials say that anyone who have not been previously vaccinated and who have never had Hepatits A infection are susceptible to the disease and may be at risk if they ate anything from Mr. C’s Pizza & Subs on the mentioned dates above.
According to reports, there are no indication of any food products at the restaurant being the source of the infection. Nancy Lemis with the Peninsula Health Center tells 10 On Your Side the chances of contracting the virus are very low.
Lemis says Hepatitis A is an acute, self-limiting disease which results in liver inflammation. It can be spread by direct contact with another person who has the infection, touching contaminated surfaces or through consumption of contaminated food and drinks.
“Unfortunately, people are contagious two weeks prior to having the symptoms, that is why they don’t know to stay home because they don’t know they are ill.”
Classic symptoms of Hepatitis A is jaundice, or the the yellowing of the skin or eyes, fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine and light-colored stools.
According to the Center for disease control, there is a wide-spread outbreak of Hepatitis A throughout the country. Lemis says Virginia is an outbreak state.
“Until we can stop that we may still see some, everybody needs to use really good hand-washing and don’t share drinks, cigarettes, and hopefully you can stay well that way.”
As for Ulisse, she says the doors to Mr C’s Pizza and Subs are open and she is confident in the business she’s been running for two decades.
“I am 100 percent confident, if I wasn’t, I would have closed.”
Officials urge residents to contact the Peninsula Health District at (757) 594 – 7427 or visit the Virginia Department of Health’s site for any questions regarding the disease.
This latest case is the fourth on the Peninsula since the end of August. We reported there were two cases in Newport News and one in Yorktown.