December 5, 2016

35 Sick in Tropical Smoothie Cafe Hepatitis A Outbreak

Strawberry Smoothie

The Tropical Smoothie Cafe Hepatitis A outbreak now includes 35 people, an increase of seven cases since the last update from the Virginia Department of Health. The most recent report of onset of illness is August 19, according to a health department spokeswoman.

At of Friday, August 26, 2016, the 35 cases had been reported in four parts of the state: 14 in Northern Virginia, 5 in Northwest Virginia, 10 in Eastern Virginia, and 6 in Central Virginia.

The outbreak has been linked to frozen strawberries imported from Egypt. Anyone who has ordered a smoothie or other food containing frozen strawberries from at a Tropical Smoothie Cafe in recent weeks should see a doctor and mention exposure to Hepatitis A.

Symptoms of a Hepatitis A infection include: fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, joint pain, dark urine, clay-colored stools and yellow skin or eyes. Symptoms, which can last between three and eight weeks,  usually start 28 days after exposure, but can appear anywhere from 15-50 days after exposure.

Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that is spread from person to person and through contaminated food and beverages. Infected people don’t always have symptoms and can be contagious before symptoms appear.

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