September 28, 2016

Food Worker at Benjamin Parker School in Kaneohe, HI Diagnosed with Hepatitis A

The principal of Benjamin Parker Elementary School in Kaneohe, Hawaii has sent a letter to parents telling them that a cafeteria kitchen worker has been diagnosed with hepatitis A. That person worked in the kitchen from August 28 to 30, 2016. All meals will be prepared offsite until further notice. All children should have been vaccinated against hepatitis A as part of routine childhood vaccinations. Any child who is vaccinated is immune to the illness caused by this virus. But any children who have not previously been vaccinated should be seen by their pediatrician for a discussion about a vaccination. The letter was sent out too late to warn parents and get their children vaccinated if they were not, since the shots are only effective if given within 14 days of exposure to the … [Read more...]

Employee at Missoula MT Good Food Store Has Hepatitis A

In a story not related to the Hawaii hepatitis A outbreak, or the Virginia hepatitis A outbreak, the Missoula City-County Department of Health has announced that an employee at the Good Food Store has tested positive for hepatitis A. KPAX reports that the Health Department Office Ellen Leahy stated the person did not work "during most of the time that they had symptoms," but a person is can be spread before they have symptoms. In fact, anyone with this virus is contagious for two weeks before they start feeling sick. The employee worked preparing foods for the self-serve salad bar, which are not cooked before they are eaten, so they are a good vehicle for contamination. If you ate food from the self-serve salad bar at the Good Food Store between August 15 and September 13, 2016, … [Read more...]

Tropical Smoothie Cafe Hepatitis A Hospitalization Rate Double the Average

The Hepatitis A strain linked to Tropical Smoothie Cafe outbreak is packing a wallop. Generally, about 20 percent of people with a Hepatitis A infection require hospitalization, but in this outbreak, the hospitalization rate is 46 percent. The outbreak has been linked to frozen strawberries imported from Egypt, which were removed from all store locations on August 9, according to the company. But because Hepatitis A has an incubation period that can take up to 50 days, new cases are still being reported. So far, 81 cases in seven states have been confirmed: Maryland (6), New York (1), North Carolina (1), Oregon (1), Virginia (66), West Virginia (5), and Wisconsin (1). Hepatitis A, a virus that affects the liver, isn't common in the U.S. Since the vaccine against this virus was … [Read more...]

Tropical Smoothie Cafe Hepatitis A Outbreak: 81 Illnesses in 7 States

The Tropical Smoothie Cafe Hepatitis A outbreak continues to expand and now includes at least 81 confirmed cases in seven states. The outbreak has been linked to frozen strawberries imported from Egypt which, the company says, were removed from all stores on August 9. Most of the illnesses are in Virginia where the case count increased from 55 yesterday to 66 today. Hepatitis A has can take as long as 50 days to incubate, so although these cases are newly confirmed, they stem from contaminated smoothies served at Tropical Smoothie Cafes before August 9. The 66 people sickened in Virginia range in age from 14 to 68 and reported onset of illnesses dates ranging from May to August. About 42 percent of them were so sick they required hospitalization. The case count by region of the … [Read more...]

West Virginia Hard Hit by Tropical Smoothie Cafe Hepatitis A Outbreak

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 … [Read more...]

Tropical Smoothie Cafe Hepatitis A Outbreak Expands to 7 States

The Tropical Smoothie Cafe Hepatitis A outbreak has expanded to seven states. At least 70 people have been sickened and 32 of them have been hospitalized, which is a hospitalization rate that is more than double the average for this illness. Frozen strawberries imported from Egypt have been identified as the likely source of this outbreak. Tropical Smoothie Cafe reported that the contaminated strawberries were removed from all locations by August 8 and that stores nationwide have all received frozen strawberries from a new supplier. At this time, no other restaurants or retailers have been identified as having received the tainted strawberries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Federal health officials say that while the contaminated food source has … [Read more...]

Tropical Smoothie Cafe Hepatitis A Outbreak Hits 6 States

A Hepatitis A outbreak linked to strawberries imported from Egypt and served Tropical Smoothie Cafe locations in Virginia has sickened at least 66 people in six states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At least 20 people have been hospitalized. Most of those sickened, 55, are from Virginia. The other states reporting cases are Maryland (4), West Virginia (4), North Carolina (1), Oregon (1) and Wisconsin (1). The most recent case was reported August 23. Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that is spread from person to person and through contaminated food and beverages. Infected people can be contagious before symptoms and sometimes show no symptoms at all. It is expected that more cases will be reported as the incubation period with Hepatitis A can … [Read more...]

35 Sick in Tropical Smoothie Cafe Hepatitis A Outbreak

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, … [Read more...]

Sea Scallops Recalled for Hepatitis A Sold to Restaurants in California, Nevada

Imported sea scallops linked to a Hepatitis A outbreak that has sickened 206 people in Hawaii were also sold to restaurants and retailers in California and Nevada. While it's not clear at this point, which areas of California might be affected, health officials in Nevada say they are not investigating any reports of illnesses linked to the scallops and that "small quantities of the product were received by a local distributor and subsequently discarded; none of the product had been used, distributed or sold." The scallops were supplied by Sea Port Products Corp.  which issued a recall for frozen bay scallops produced on November 23, 2015 and 24, 2015 with lot numbers 5885, 5886, and 5887. Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that is spread from person to person and through the … [Read more...]

FDA, CDC Join Hepatitis A Outbreak Investigation Linked to Sea Scallops

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have joined the investigation into a Hepatitis A outbreak in Hawaii that has sickened 206 people. Along with the Hawaii Department of Health, the agencies have conducted epidemiological, laboratory and traceback investigations that have identified sea scallops supplied by Sea Port Products Corp. as the source of the outbreak. On August 18, 2016, the company issued a recall for three lots of frozen bay scallops, produced on November 23, 2015 and 24, 2015, with lot numbers 5885, 5886, and 5887. The recalled scallops were distributed to restaurants and retailers in California, Hawaii, and Nevada. Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that is spread from person to person and through … [Read more...]

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