Montgomery County Restaurant to Close as Officials Investigate Deadly Hepatitis A Outbreak – CBS Philly

WEST NORRITON, Dad. (CBS) – Health officials have closed a restaurant in Montgomery County as they investigate a deadly hepatitis A outbreak. Gino’s Ristorante and Pizzeria on West Main Street in West Norriton is closed until further notice.

It really is a fluid situation with many questions that remain unanswered. CBS3 spoke to the brother and cousin of the two current owners of Gino’s, who were very distraught about one aspect of this story: the reputational damage his family’s restaurant is sustaining.

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Giovanni Badalamenti’s father opened Gino’s Pizzeria and Italian Restaurant 50 years ago.

Today, his brother and cousin run it, and on Friday afternoon, the Montgomery County Office of Public Health closed Gino’s doors temporarily as it continues to investigate the cause of a deadly hepatitis A outbreak in the county.

“There’s a lot of stuff on the social media, rumors are spreading. And it’s rumors because the health board has been here several times in the past month to make sure everything is okay and that everything is perfectly checked out for them,” Badalamenti said.

He says the Office of Public Health has been here three times in the past week and found no problems.

On Monday, all employees, including his brother and cousin, will be checked by the Public Health Service.

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“They want to make sure that everything, those things that are out there, they want to make sure these people are okay. They’re also concerned about the people who got sick,” Badalamenti said.

Badalamenti said his brother and cousin are torn about all this but want their customers to know.

“I want them to know that this restaurant is not going away and that these guys are working every day to help the community. They provide food to the community,” Badalamenti said.

Currently, 11 cases are under investigation. Nine have been confirmed to be infected; seven of them have been hospitalized, one person has died from the virus and another death is still under investigation.

Some people infected with hepatitis A have no symptoms. When they do develop, it usually takes between two and seven weeks, and some can remain ill for up to six months.

The source of the outbreak is still under investigation, which is why Gino’s was closed until the Montgomery County Office of Public Health, in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, can determine exactly where this outbreak started.

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Siafa Lewis and Alecia Reid of CBS3 contributed to this report.

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