Updated January 20 to include new information about fatalities-  A Hepatitis A outbreak at Gino’s Ristorante & Pizzeria in West Norriton, PA includes at least 11 illnesses and seven hospitalizations, according to the Montgomery County Department of Public Health. Two deaths have been confirmed, a third is under investigation. But health officials say these totals may increase. After the state department of health issued a health advisory on January 5, health officials began to receive reports of additional potential cases.

Although the source of the outbreak has not yet been identified, investigators believe the exposure likely occurred in late November and is no longer a risk. However, on January 7, the restaurant, located at 2401 W. Main St., was temporarily closed for the duration of the investigation.

Gino’s has denied responsibility for the outbreak and posted a statement saying in part, “We offer our heartfelt condolences to the family of the departed. We cannot and will not take responsibility for something we did not cause.”


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What is Hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is a virus that causes infection of the liver. It is highly contagious and is transmitted via the fecal-oral route, meaning stool from an infected person contaminates food that is ingested by others. This can happen if an infected food handler doesn’t properly wash hands after using the restroom.

Vaccination can prevent illness even if it is done up to two weeks after exposure, but there is no treatment for hepatitis A infections. Infected people will have symptoms lasting weeks or months as the liver works to heal itself.

Symptoms of an infection can take as long as seven weeks to develop. They include yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine, light-colored or clay-colored stools, decreased appetite, nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, fever, joint pain, and abdominal cramps.

Gino’s Hepatitis A Outbreak has High Rate of Severe Illness

With seven hospitalizations and two fatalities out of 11 illnesses, this outbreak has a high rate of severe illness. Deaths from hepatitis A are rare, according to the CDC, fewer than 1 percent of cases are fatal.  With two confirmed deaths, the fatality rate for the Gino’s Ristorante & Pizzeria Outbreak is 18 percent, if the third fatality is confirmed it will be 27 percent. This is an indication that far more people were infected but were undetected because they suffered milder symptoms, health experts have said.

Hepatitis A deaths, CDC chart

 

Experienced Hepatitis A, Wrongful Death Lawyers

If you have been sickened in this outbreak or experienced the wrongful death of a loved one and would like a free consultation about filing a lawsuit, please contact our experienced hepatitis A lawyers. You can reach them by calling 1-888-377-8900, sending a text to 612-261-0856, or by completing the form below. There is no obligation and we don’t get paid unless we win.

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Hepatitis A at Gino's