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Hepatitis A Outbreak Linked to Strawberries at Smoothie Chain

Hepatitis A Outbreak Linked to Strawberries at Smoothie Chain

Postby smix » Sat Sep 10, 2016 2:04 pm

Hepatitis A Outbreak Linked to Strawberries at Smoothie Chain
The New York Times

URL: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/10/healt ... chain.html
Category: healthNews
Published: September 9, 2016

Description: An outbreak of hepatitis A linked to strawberries at a smoothie chain has sickened 89 people from seven states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday. Of 54 people interviewed by investigators, all of them said they drank a smoothie containing strawberries before Aug. 8 at a Tropical Smoothie Cafe location in Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia or West Virginia. Thirty-nine people have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported. The smoothie chain removed the contaminated strawberries on Aug. 8, and the C.D.C. said there is no indication of a continuing risk. “To those who have become ill after eating at one of our cafes, we are deeply sorry,” Tropical Smoothie Cafe said in a statement. “We hope you recover quickly and completely.” Symptoms can take up to 50 days to appear, so more cases could still be reported. Thus far, 70 of the infected customers were in Virginia, 10 were in Maryland, five in West Virginia, and one apiece were in New York, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Oregon. The C.D.C. traced the infection to frozen strawberries imported from Egypt, and said it was not aware of other restaurants that may have received infected strawberries. Tropical Smoothie Cafe said it had switched to another supplier for all its restaurants nationwide, and would use only strawberries sourced from the Americas. The Food and Drug Administration said in a statement that it would increase surveillance of imported strawberries. Hepatitis A is a liver disease that ranges in severity from a mild illness that lasts weeks to a severe illness that lasts several months, according to the F.D.A. It is typically spread by ingesting fecal matter from contact with objects, food or drinks contaminated by an infected person. Symptoms include fatigue, abdominal pain, jaundice, abnormal liver tests, dark urine and pale stool. A vaccine is often administered as part of routine childhood vaccinations, which has helped limit the United States to an estimated 2,500 cases in 2014, according to the C.D.C. Most cases are now related to international travel, the C.D.C. said.
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