Editor’s Platform: Famous Anthony’s Should Pay Hepatitis A Victims’ Medical Costs and Lost Wages, and Vaccinate Employees Now!
Over the past few weeks, I have spoken to dozens of Roanoke area residents and family members of a man who died of hepatitis A after simply eating at a local restaurant where a unvaccinated employee was working while contagious and did not wash his hands after using the toilet.
Some of Famous Anthony’s clients who became ill have been hospitalized and now face rising medical bills and lost wages and even jobs. All of those who survived now face months of recovery. Death leaves a hole in the family that will never be filled.
To be clear, hepatitis A is a human fecal virus that is transmitted via the fecal / oral route. This outbreak would not have happened if the employee had been vaccinated and / or washed their hands after using the toilet and before preparing food.
The famous Anthony’s released a statement on Friday regarding the cases:
âSince 1986, Famous Anthony’s restaurants have been committed to providing their customers with affordable, quality meals. The management and property have always strived to treat their many loyal customers and staff like family.
Following the notification of possible exposure to hepatitis A in three of its facilities between August 10, 2021 and August 27, 2021, Famous Anthony’s has fully cooperated with the health districts of Roanoke and Alleghany. Famous Anthony’s has provided a safe environment for customers and workers for 35 years, and continues to work with health officials and comply with all recommendations given to it by relevant authorities to ensure the safe and continuous operation of all its current locations.
As Famous Anthony’s continues his investigation, he wishes to express that he is aware of the impact this unforeseen event has and continues to have on the individuals and families of this community. In addition, Famous Anthony’s offers its sincere concern and sympathy to all affected.
Health officials first reported the exposure outbreak on Friday, September 24, 2021.
It should be noted that the sick employee was most likely contagious in the week BEFORE the onset of his symptoms, which would likely be the last days of August. One question will be, since hepatitis A is a reportable disease by law, why was it at least a month before health authorities were notified or health authorities notified the public?
So far there are 37 confirmed cases (not clear if that also counts the sick employee), with 26 hospitalized and 1 death – so far. These numbers are likely to grow as an additional primary (cases who ate at Famous Anthony’s) or secondary (cases related to the management of sick primary cases).
The bottom line is that Famous Anthony’s has a moral and ethical obligation to take care of these people. The famous Anthony’s should pay the medical bills and lost wages of the victims of hepatitis A and vaccinate his employees, now!