Virginia Health Department Warns of Possible Hepatitis A Exposure at Restaurant

The Virginia Health Department is warning about possible exposure to hepatitis A at a restaurant in Sterling.

Anyone who ate or drank anything at Señor Ramon Taqueria between July 10 and July 26 should contact the health department.

The restaurant learned two days ago a member of its kitchen staff was diagnosed with hepatitis A — a rare diagnosis.

“Typically, hep A isn’t that common in developed countries,” Dr. Danny Nguyen of Inova Ashburn said.

That’s because of waste treatment and vaccination. Without vaccination, hep A is very contagious, Nguyen said.

“It’s as simple as touching something dirty and putting it in your mouth,” he said. “If there’s a significant quantity of the viral load there, it can transmit into your system and cause all the liver damage that you would like to avoid, because it can be quite debilitating.”

There’s no indication any food at Señor Ramon’s is the source of the employee’s infection, the Loudoun County Health Department said.

“We’re working as fast as we can to do everything that is in our hands to control the situation,” Señor Ramon owner Carlos Dalvano said.

He said the health department helped him and his staff investigate and clean.

“We received visits from some inspectors and we tried to manage the situation with them,” Dalvano said. “Right now, everything, thank God, is under control, and we’re trying to follow all the recommendations and everything that’s required to follow in situations like this.”

“We just recommend you call the health department, because they can answer any needs,” Señor Ramon employee Jess Peterson advised and customers from July 10-26. “They’re also offering vaccinations for anyone who met the risk time.”

Even if you have been vaccinated for hep A, you can still contract the virus. Play it safe and call the health department if you ate there.

The health department said restaurant management has been fully cooperative.

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