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Four People Have Now Died After Eating at This Restaurant Chain, According to Reports

Another patron of the chain has died in a major Hepatitis A outbreak.

The death toll from a Hepatitis A outbreak connected to a small restaurant chain in Virginia has now risen to four.

According to Food Safety News, another person has died after becoming infected with the virus at a Famous Anthony's restaurant in Roanoke Valley. The victim, Larry Vest, had been battling liver disease since first contracting the infection in October 2021. His wife, who was also infected, died in the fall.

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The outbreak was first announced by the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts (RCAHD) director Cynthia Morrow, MD, MPH, on October 12. According to reports, it was associated with three of the four Famous Anthony's locations—at 4913 Grandin Road, 6499 Williamson Road, and 2221 Crystal Spring Ave.—where an infected employee worked between Aug. 10 and Aug. 27, 2021.

More than 50 are now known to have been infected in connection to the outbreak, and about 30 had been hospitalized due to the severity of their illness. Four people have died, with the first death confirmed on October 18.

The family of Larry Vest has retained food safety attorney Bill Marler to represent them in a case against Famous Anthony's, and they aren't the only ones. Marler is said to be representing as many as two dozen other families in the outbreak, according to reports.

Hepatitis A is a liver infection frequently caused by fecal particles that contaminate food, water, surfaces, and objects and are then inadvertently consumed. Infected people may be contagious for up to two weeks before showing symptoms, while in some cases it takes up to 50 days for symptoms to develop.

However, Hepatitis A is easily preventable with a vaccine. Another way to make sure Hepatitis A doesn't spread is by maintaining good hand hygiene.

"Frequent hand washing with soap and warm water after using the bathroom, changing a diaper, or before preparing food can help prevent the spread of hepatitis A," RCAHD representatives have noted, adding that contact with infected people can spread the disease as well.

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Mura Dominko
Mura is a Deputy Editor leading ETNT's coverage of America's favorite fast foods and restaurant chains. Read more