Frozen strawberries blamed for hepatitis A outbreak that sickened 70

A hepatitis A outbreak traced back to frozen strawberries has sickened 70 people in seven states, according to the CDC and Food and Drug Administration.

Thirty-two people have been hospitalized as a result of this outbreak, according to the CDC. Affected states are:

  • Virginia — 55 cases
  • Maryland — six cases
  • West Virginia — five cases
  • New York — one case
  • North Carolina — one case
  • Oregon — one case
  • Wisconsin — one case

Nearly all of the ill people interviewed during the outbreak investigation reported drinking strawberry smoothies from Tropical Smoothie Café locations. As a result, Tropical Smoothie Café has switched strawberry providers from an Egyptian supplier to another supplier at all locations nationwide.

Hepatitis A is a viral, highly contagious liver infection that does not result in a chronic infection. It is usually spread by the fecal-oral route but can also be contracted by eating contaminated food or water. Symptoms include yellow eyes or skin, abdominal pain or pale stools.

The CDC does not believe there is ongoing risk of hepatitis A infections at Tropical Smoothie Cafés, and is not yet aware of any other restaurants that could have received frozen strawberries from the supplier linked to the outbreak.

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