September 28, 2016

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...]

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...]

Tropical Smoothie Cafe CEO Apologizes for Hepatitis A Exposure

After Tropical Smoothie Cafe was linked to a Hepatitis A outbreak that has sickened at least 17 people in Virginia, CEO Mike Rotondo apologized to customers on a video posted on the company's website.  Health officials say the source of the outbreak was frozen strawberries imported from Egypt. “I sincerely apologize for any issues that this may have caused for any of our customers,” Rotondo said. “We take this issue very seriously. Your health and your safety is our top priority. We want you to have confident that we source high quality products so that you’ll come back again and visit us very soon. Thank you.” The company removed the imported strawberries from all locations and has found an alternate supplier. Vaccinations can prevent symptoms, but only if given within two weeks … [Read more...]

In Canada, Cyclospora Outbreak Grows to Include 61 Cases

In Canada, a Cyclospora outbreak has grown to include 61 cases. Health officials have not yet identified the food source of the outbreak, but imported produce is  suspected. A parasite native to tropical climates, Cyclospora is not commonly found in Canada or the U.S. Often illnesses are travel-related or linked to imported produce such as berries, salads greens, and peas. In this outbreak, the 61 cases were reported between May and July from: British Columbia (1), Alberta (2), Ontario (52), and Quebec (6). One person was hospitalized. The outbreak occurs as more than 150 British travelers to resorts in Cancun, Mexico picked up the parasite while vacationing and as Texas battles a Cyclospora outbreak for the fourth straight summer. A food source has not been identified, but the … [Read more...]

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