Tropical Smoothie Cafe customers in Virginia face hepatitis A risk

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) – The Virginia Department of Health is warning the public that Tropical Smoothie Cafes in the Commonwealth used frozen strawberries that contained hepatitis A.

Those who consumed a smoothies on August 5, 6, 7 or 8 should get a vaccine or immune globulin to prevent hepatitis A.

Other restaurants, and firms that supply restaurants, may also have received the frozen strawberries imported from Egypt.

VDH is working with state and federal partners to identify additional locations where the product may have been used or distributed.

Hepatitis A is an inflammation of the liver caused by the hepatitis A virus.

Anyone who consumed a smoothie with frozen strawberries at a restaurant within the last 50 days is encouraged to watch for symptoms of hepatitis A. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of hepatitis A include:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain or discomfort, especially in the area of your liver on your right side beneath your lower ribs
  • Clay-colored bowel movements
  • Loss of appetite
  • Low-grade fever
  • Dark urine
  • Joint pain
  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)

Symptoms develop within 15 to 50 days after exposure to the virus, which can occur by consuming food or drink contaminated with it or by direct contact with another person who has the infection.

If you start to feel ill, seek medical care and take steps to protect others from the infection. If you get the virus, it’s extremely important for you to stay home from work, especially if you work in food service.

Learn more about hepatitis A here. Contact your local health department with any questions concerning this investigation.

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