PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Health officials are investigating a hepatitis A outbreak in Montgomery County, saying there were eight lab-confirmed cases.
There may be one death associated with the virus so far, but officials will not formally link it to the outbreak, saying it remains under investigation. Six people have been hospitalized.
However, the Pennsylvania Department of Health gave notice to health care providers to look for symptoms associated with hepatitis A, which include jaundice, stomach pain, fatigue and nausea.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Montgomery County Office of Public Health said the outbreak appears to have started in a restaurant, but they are not naming the restaurant, as they said there is minimal risk of spread or transmission from that location.
Health officials say hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection.
Severity can range from mild infection lasting a few weeks, to severe disease lasting several months.
The CDC says most people recover on their own, but in rare cases, it can cause liver failure and death.
The virus is typically spread when someone eats or drinks something contaminated by fecal matter, often from people not properly washing their hands. It can also be spread by close contact with someone who is infected.
The Department of Health urges anyone with symptoms to check with their health care provider.