YORKTOWN, Va. (WAVY) — Health officials are alerting the public to a possible hepatitis A exposure at a restaurant in Yorktown.
The Virginia Department of Health said in a news release an employee of Ginny’s Restaurant was recently diagnosed with the virus.
Officials said in the release people who went to the restaurant on five specific dates — Aug. 22, Aug. 23, Aug. 28, Aug. 29 and Sept. 4 — may have been exposed to the virus.
There is no indication any food at the restaurant was the source of the infection, officials said.
The restaurant released a statement on Facebook Thursday that said in part, “Ginny’s has always maintained the highest standards for food preparation and safety, and we are cooperating fully with the health department regarding this matter.”
The virus causes inflammation of the liver and can be spread through direct contact with another person who has been infected. A classic symptom of the virus is jaundice — yellowing of the skin or the eyes.
According to health officials, other symptoms include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and dark urine.
Nancy Lemis with the Virginia Department of Health says the virus is contagious two weeks before symptoms start showing and that’s why they’ve seen an outbreak across the Commonwealth and the country.
“Any of us could have it and never know it until we get sick and we could be working,” she said.
Lemis says symptoms can appear anywhere between 15 to 50 days after being exposed and you can get it from more places than just contaminated food.
“It doesn’t mean anyone is dirty or unclean. They didn’t know they were sick,” she said.
While Hepatitis A is highly contagious, Lemis says hand washing helps decrease the risk, as well as getting a vaccine.
Vaccines are administered with two shots spread out between six to twelve months apart.
Lemis hopes that even if you didn’t visit the restaurant during those days, you will still get your vaccine.