Hepatitis A Warning Issued For Patrons Of Popular Pacific Beach Restaurant World Famous

September 15, 2017

On September 1, 2017, the San Diego County Public Health Officer declared a local public health emergency due to the ongoing hepatitis A virus outbreak in the county. Today customers of popular beachfront restaurant World Famous in Pacific Beach were warned that they may have been exposed to the virus.

San Diego County health officials have issued a warning advising the public that anyone who may have eaten or had beverages at the World Famous restaurant in Pacific Beach on seven specific dates and times that they may have been exposed to a person with the hepatitis A virus. The dates and times of potential exposure at the restaurant, located at 711 Pacific Beach Drive in San Diego, are stated to be August 28, 29 and 30 between 3-11pm; September 3 & 4 between 9am and 6pm; and September 10 & 11 from 3-11pm.

While the health department has started that there is no known risk of hepatitis exposure at the restaurant now or on other dates, we have received information that the infected employee was actually a bar manager who has since been removed from his position at the restaurant. A representative from World Famous would neither confirm nor deny. The restaurant was also closed by the health department for a short time prior to this incident before being reopened with a 'B' rating, which has since been restored to an "A".  Health officials stated that the investigation into the case is on-going.

When World Famous found out about having an employee infected with Hepatitis A, they immediately closed the restaurant and brought in a Hazmat team. Even after the Hazmat team disinfected the entirety of the restaurant, World Famous remained close to perform additional cleaning.

"The risk to the public is low, but anyone who ate or had beverages at the restaurant on those dates and times should be aware of the signs and symptoms of hepatitis A," said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., San Diego County public health officer. "We encourage anyone who has not had the hepatitis A vaccine and those who may have been exposed to contact their health care provider."

Hepatitis A can generally be spread if someone eats food contaminated by an infected person. The severity of the infection can vary from mild, flu-like symptoms lasting about two weeks to more  to severe illness lasting seven weeks or longer. In rare cases, contracting the virus can be deadly.