Confirmed Cases of Hepatitis A Linked to Virginia Tropical Smoothie Cafes

Aug 29, 2016, 02:19
Confirmed Cases of Hepatitis A Linked to Virginia Tropical Smoothie Cafes

Health officials say the employee of Tropical Smoothie Cafe in Gainesville became sick in July but wasn't diagnosed until later.

Breaking down the numbers, there are now six cases in Central Virginia, 14 in Northern Virginia, five in Northwest Virginia and 10 in the eastern region on the state.

Health officials believe the source to be frozen strawberries from Egypt.

Zambri alleges, in part, that Tropical Smoothie Café was negligent in allowing suspect Egyptian strawberries, since destroyed, into its supply chain in the first place.

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Separately, Constantinos A. Raptis of Olney, Maryland, said he was hospitalized for four days after consuming smoothies from a Tropical Smoothie Cafe restaurant in Purcellville.

In the first, a class-action suit, the class will seek damages for anyone who received a preventative Hepatitis A vaccine after potentially being exposed to the virus at a Tropical Smoothie Café. None have been reported in the southwest region.

It is very important for people who have symptoms of hepatitis A to stay home from work, especially if they work in food service, the health department said in a statement.

Nearly all people who get hepatitis A recover completely and do not have any lasting liver damage, although they may feel sick for months, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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In an interview, the deputy director of Alexandria's health department, Dr. Tina Singh, told WUSA9 that tracking down the specific restaurant branch linked to each cases can be extremely challenging due to the virus's long incubation period, and the limits of most people's memories.

The VDH identified a possible link between frozen strawberries from Egypt that were used at Tropical Smoothie Cafés between August 5 and August 8, and hepatitis A.

Symptoms of hepatitis A include yellowing of the skin and eyes, fever, vomiting, fatigue and loss of appetite.

Almost all people who get Hepatitis A recover completely with no lasting liver damage, according to the CDC, but they may feel sick for months.

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