UPDATE: Health officials report third death following hepatitis A outbreak tied to Famous Anthony’s restaurants in Roanoke

Roanoke Valley News

UPDATE 4:39 p.m. (10/29/21): Health officials confirmed Friday afternoon that a third person has died in connection with the hepatitis A outbreak tied to Famous Anthony’s restaurants in Roanoke.

On Friday, Oct. 29, the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts announced that a third adult has died after being hospitalized with complications from hepatitis A.

This marks the third death connected with the outbreak, which was first reported on Sept. 24.

The first death — which was announced on Oct. 15 — involved a person who was reportedly hospitalized with complications from the infection and had underlying medical conditions.

Then, on Friday morning, health officials confirmed a second adult who was hospitalized with complications from hepatitis A died.

“It is always with extreme sadness that we report the death of an individual,” said Dr. Cynthia Morrow, the director of the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts. “This heartbreaking loss of life illustrates how serious this outbreak is. Unfortunately, in this situation, we have seen many individuals experiencing severe disease, and in some cases, their symptoms have continued to progress over weeks.”

As of Friday, the health districts say 49 primary hepatitis A cases have been reported in connection with the outbreak, including 31 hospitalizations. However, a small number of cases are still under investigation.

Health officials remind community members that hepatitis A is a preventable disease and encourage good handwashing and vaccination, especially among high-risk populations.


UPDATE 9:07 a.m. (10/29/21): The Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts (RCAHD) released more information about the second adult who had died from the hepatitis A outbreak tied to Famous Anthony’s restaurants in Roanoke.

Health officials say the person was hospitalized with complications from hepatitis A.

“We grieve the loss of this second individual, who was loved by friends and family,” said Dr. Cynthia Morrow, director of the RCAHD. “It is devastating that we have seen a high rate of severe disease associated with this outbreak.”

At this time, health officials say RCAHD staff have identified a total of 49 confirmed cases, including 31 hospitalizations. Even though a small number of cases are still under investigation, no new cases have been reported to RCAHD this week.

The health districts also say the last day of exposure to the onset of symptoms was Oct. 15 and that all the confirmed primary cases of hepatitis A associated with the outbreak had symptoms on or before this date.

According to health officials, hepatitis A can be prevented with a vaccine.


ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — An attorney representing the 22 cases associated with the hepatitis A outbreak tied to Famous Anthony’s restaurants in Roanoke says a second person has died from the illness.

Attorney William Marler with Marler Clark says the woman who passed away on Monday, Oct. 25 was in her 80’s. Marler told WFXR News that the woman and two other members of her family contracted infections after eating at Famous Anthony’s in Roanoke.

The Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts reported 50 cases associated with the outbreak on Tuesday, Oct. 26. Dr. Cynthia Morrow — the director of the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts — says 49 primary hepatitis A cases have been reported in connection with the outbreak, as well as one secondary case.

Since the outbreak which was first reported on Sept. 24, there has been one other death associated with the outbreak. That person was reportedly hospitalized with complications from the infection and had underlying medical conditions. Health officials reported that person’s death on Oct. 15.

Health officials say that the exposure to hepatitis A happened at the following Famous Anthony’s locations between Aug. 10 and Aug. 27:

  • 4913 Grandin Road
  • 6499 Williamson Road
  • 2221 Crystal Spring Avenue

If you visited any of those three restaurant locations between Aug. 10 and Aug. 27, you are urged to seek medical attention if you develop the following symptoms:

  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or the eyes)
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dark urine
  • Light-colored stools

Health experts say symptoms may develop up to 50 days after exposure, but according to Dr. Morrow, no new cases have been reported since that estimated incubation period passed on Oct. 15.

A spokesman for the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts could not confirm the latest death.

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