Beware Bad Berries, CDC Warns
At least 55 people in six states are suffering from Hepatitis A after eating contaminated frozen strawberries from Egypt.
The epicenter of the outbreak is in Virginia, where 44 of the sickened people live. The rest are in Maryland, West Virginia, North Carolina, Oregon, and California. The Virginia Department of Health thinks the outbreak may be linked to smoothies sold at Tropical Smoothie Café restaurants. For example, the ill person from Oregon is known to have traveled to Virginia this year.
Hep A is very contagious, but usually doesn’t present symptoms for 15-50 days. So health officials are warning this outbreak could still be spreading. Victims so far range from 15 to 68 years old. They reported symptoms between May and August.
Hepatitis A can cause jaundice, fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine and light-colored stools. The CEO of Tropical Smoothie Café says his company has pulled all imported frozen berries, and replaced them with berries from another supplier.
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