Fourth person dies after 2021 hepatitis A outbreak tied to Famous Anthony’s in Roanoke, attorney says

Roanoke Valley News

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — A fourth person has reportedly died from hepatitis A complications linked to a 2021 outbreak at Famous Anthony’s restaurants in Roanoke.

The Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts reported on Sept. 24, 2021 that a worker at three Famous Anthony’s locations had been diagnosed with the virus.

As a result, health officials warned anyone who visited the restaurants on Grandin Road, Williamson Road, or Crystal Spring Avenue from Aug. 10-26, 2021 that they could have been exposed.

On Oct. 15, 2021, the VDH announced that a person with underlying medical conditions had died after being hospitalized with complications from hepatitis A following the outbreak tied to Famous Anthony’s.

Then, on Oct. 29, 2021, health officials confirmed that two more adults died after hepatitis-related hospitalizations.

As of late October, the VDH has reported 49 primary hepatitis A cases — as well as a secondary case — and 31 hospitalizations associated with the outbreak at the restaurant chain.

Attorney Bill Marler, who is representing many of the people who contracted the highly-contagious virus, says 77-year-old Larry Vest died over the holidays.

According to Marler, Vest struggled with the illness after eating at the restaurant.

Vest’s wife, Diane, was also infected and passed away in October, the attorney says.

The couple reportedly treated eating breakfast at Famous Anthony’s as a date.

Marler says their deaths show the importance of getting food service workers vaccinated against hepatitis A.

“It’s one of those kind of things,” Marler said. “A $50 vaccine goes a long way to prevent a tragedy like this and prevent the economic nightmare that Famous Anthony’s is also experiencing.”

According to Marler, many of his clients who contracted hepatitis A are still struggling with their health. One may even need a liver transplant.

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