40 Virginia cases of Hepatitis A now linked to Tropical Smoothie Cafe

- The Virginia Department of Health says that as of Monday there are 40 confirmed cases of Hepatitis-A in Virginia linked to frozen strawberries used by Tropical Smoothie Café.

That number is an increase from Friday when the VDH listed the number of confirmed cases reached 35.

The 40 Hepatitis A cases are from across Virginia – 11 in the eastern region, 18 in the northern region, five in the northwestern region, and six in the central region. No cases have been reported in the southwest region of Virginia.

After being notified of the possible contamination, the nationwide smoothie chain, which has 96 stores in Virginia, voluntarily pulled the Egyptian-sourced strawberries from all of its restaurants and has been cooperating with the health department.

Hepatitis A can cause inflammation of the liver and symptoms such as jaundice, fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine and light-colored stools can develop 15 to 50 days after exposure to the virus. The virus can be obtained through direct contact with another person who has been infected or by consuming food or drink contaminated by the virus. Anyone who has not been vaccinated for hepatitis A may be susceptible to the virus.

A Lawsuit has been filed against Tropical Smoothie Cafe by customers who claim they have fallen ill after eating at their restaurants.

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