TWELVE cases of hepatitis A have been diagnosed after an alleged outbreak that has forced the closure of a popular restaurant near Benidorm on the Costa Blanca.
According to local sources the regional Ministry of Health has closed a restaurant in Finestrat for more than a week after detecting an outbreak of the disease at the start of the month.
Although the restaurant has been extensively named on social media groups the Conselleria de Sanitat Universal i Salut Pública has yet to formally confirm the name of the establishment.
Hepatitis A is a viral liver disease that can cause mild to severe illness.
The virus is primarily spread when an uninfected (and unvaccinated) person ingests food or water that is contaminated with the faeces of an infected person.
The disease is closely associated with unsafe water or food, inadequate sanitation and poor personal hygiene.
Unlike hepatitis B and C, hepatitis A infection does not cause chronic liver disease and is rarely fatal, but it can cause debilitating symptoms and fulminant hepatitis (acute liver failure), which is often fatal.
It can take weeks or months for people recovering from the illness to return to work, school, or daily life.
The impact on food establishments identified with the virus, and local productivity in general, can be substantial.