News from Hepatitis Week of November 9, 2003 / Vol. 3 No. 45
First Death Recorded in Pittsburgh Hepatitis A Outbreak

The first death stemming from a hepatitis A outbreak traced to a Pittsburgh area restaurant has been recorded.

Jeffrey Cook, 38, of Aliquippa, died November 7 at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Presbyterian Hospital. He was one of five patients admitted to the hospital with hepatitis A. Two of those patients are in critical condition, while two others remain in fair condition.

Allegheny County Health Department Director Dr. Bruce Dixon told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that it is "decidedly unusual" for someone to die of hepatitis A since less than 1 percent of those with the illness actually die from it.

The number of confirmed hepatitis A cases from the Pittsburgh outbreak has now risen to 185. Most of the people that have been treated had eaten at the Chi-Chi's restaurant in the Beaver Valley Mall.

A sick restaurant employee who didn't follow hand-washing rules is a possible cause of the hepatitis A outbreak.

Other sources: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (November 8, 2003)