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Hepatitis A cases linked to Tropical Smoothie Cafe smoothies increases to 23 in Virginia, 8 local

Posted at 4:11 PM, Aug 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-24 18:23:09-04

RICHMOND, Va. - According to the Virginia Department of Health, there have been 23 confirmed cases of hepatitis A that are connected to frozen strawberries from Egypt used at Tropical Smoothie Cafes across Virginia.

Eight of those cases are in the Eastern region of Virginia that includes Hampton Roads.

Seven are in the Northern region, four Northwest and four Central.

The department of health said that people who consumed smoothies with frozen strawberries from Tropical Smoothie Cafe on August 5, 6, 7 or 8 may benefit from a vaccine or immune globulin to prevent hepatitis A.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe voluntarily withdrew all of the strawberries  sourced from Egypt and found an alternate supply.

In Chesapeake, physicians are noticing an increased number of patients who want to be tested for Hepatitis A. Dr. Rebecca Franzi-Osborne from Patient First, said dozens of people are being tested as a precaution and a few have slight symptoms.

She said of the tests that have been sent out, none have returned positive as of yet.

Franzi-Osborne said the disease is spread through fecal-oral transmission so the best way to protect yourself is to wash your hands after using the bathroom.

Children, although frequently vaccinated for Hepatitis A, are most susceptible to the spread along with elderly and chronically ill individuals.

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