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After fourth Hepatitis A exposure at Peninsula restaurant, health dept. discusses concerns

'Nobody should be scared to eat on the Peninsula...The restaurants are working closely with us when this does occur,' a spokesman for the VA Dept. of Health said.

POQUOSON, Va. — Another Hampton Roads restaurant had a Hepatitis A exposure, and it's once again a Peninsula establishment.

Mr. C's Pizza in Poqouson marks the fourth Peninsula eatery in less than two months where an employee with the liver inflammation illness may have spread it to customers.

The other three included Ginny's Restaurant in Yorktown, Kebab House in Newport News and Sunrise Pizzeria in Newport News.

13News Now asked the Virginia Department of Health if there's reason for those who visit or live on the Peninsula to be concerned by the pattern. Short answer: no.

"Usually in a lot of these cases when you see outbreaks, it's because other folks are connected to other folks and that's usually how it gets started," Larry Hill, spokesman for the health department, said.

It's unknown right now if, in fact, there's any sort of link between the four restaurants. Investigators are looking into that.

Hill said it's not strange to see this small outbreak in a concentrated area. The businesses are all in within about a 10-mile radius of each other. However, it shouldn't make you barricade inside your home.

"Nobody should be scared to eat on the Peninsula. We're on top of the investigations," Hill said. "The restaurants are working closely with us when this does occur."

Those infected may be contagious for two weeks before any symptoms, like jaundice, nausea or abdominal pain, show up. That likely explains why these workers just didn't know it at the time, but still came to work.

"Of course it's alarming to the public, but the restaurants are good clean restaurants," Hill said. "They're healthy restaurants. People just need to wash their hands more often."

The Virginia Department of Health recommended getting a vaccine for Hepatitis A, especially if you work in the food industry.

You can get the vaccine at most pharmacies, urgent care clinics or at the Peninsula Health Center.