West Virgina has been hard hit by the Tropical Smoothie Cafe Hepatitis A outbreak. Five people in West Virginia are among more than 70 confirmed cases in seven states who developed Hepatitis A infections after drinking a smoothie from Tropical Smoothie Cafe. Other cases in West Virginia have been reported and are still under investigation.
State health officials are working with health departments in Berkeley and Jefferson counties to investigate reports of illnesses associated with frozen strawberries imported from Egypt and served at Tropical Smoothie Cafe locations.
Hepatitis A is a virus that affects the liver. It is spread from person to person and when infected people handle foods or beverages that are consumed by others. People with Hepatitis A infections can be contagious for weeks before they start experiencing symptoms, and sometimes show no symptoms at all.
Symptoms of a Hepatitis A infection generally appear between 15 and 50 days of exposure and last about eight weeks. They include: fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, joint pain, dark urine, clay-colored stools and yellow skin or eyes.
Anyone who feels they have a Hepatitis A infection from a Tropical Smoothie Cafe smoothie should see a doctor and mention exposure to the virus.