A hepatitis A outbreak has hit the several states hard as 70 people have been affected across seven states, starting with Virginia. The outbreak has been linked to Tropical Smoothie Cafes and the investigation points to strawberries imported from Egypt—the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently working with the Egyptian International Health Regulations National Focal Point.
The FDA is prohibited from releasing confidential information about international suppliers, but they have announced an increase in surveillance over the trade process and “will provide more information as it becomes available.” There are no other known restaurants who had received the same Egyptian strawberries.
The affected number of people was updated as of August 31 and the currently affected people come from Maryland, North Carolina, New York, Oregon, Virginia, Wisconsin, and West Virginia. Nearly 45% of all victims have had to seek hospital attention for their symptoms, which is 25% higher than the usual rate. Some drugs can mask the symptoms of hepatitis A, but there is no specific treatment. Healthcare providers urge that people wash hands thoroughly after using the restroom, changing diapers, treating already ill parties, or before preparing food.