News and patient reports, particularly for individuals living in Virginia who have eaten at Tropical Smoothie Café, indicate that there’s a Hepatitis A outbreak tied to fruit. Victims have also come forward in West Virginia, Maryland, New York, Arkansas, Oregon, North Carolina, New York, and Wisconsin. Of those patients, 47 have had to be hospitalized. The current investigation conducted by the FDA and the CDC reveals that the Hepatitis A traces back to strawberries.
The CDC and FDA announced their evaluation of this situation on September 1st after getting multiple reports regarding foodborne HAV in several states. The Virginia Department of Health first identified the potential connection between the outbreak and patients eating at Tropical Smoothie Café.
Later, a collaboration among state health officials, the FDA, and the CDC revealed that frozen strawberries that had been imported from Egypt were the likely source of the Hepatitis A. After the FDA notified Tropical Smoothie Café, the business announced that they had discontinued using these products in Virginia and several other states in early August. Further information about the primary source is still being investigated by government agencies, but more than 100 individuals have been afflicted with Hepatitis A after visiting and eating at a Tropical Smoothie Café in Virginia. As of late September, a total of 117 cases have been reported.
This is the second time that imported fruits have been connected to an outbreak in the past three years. Genetic tests of the fruits in question revealed that strain 1B affected patients. This is the same Hepatitis A strain that caused a 2013 Costco outbreak associated with an antioxidant berry blend.
Symptoms of Hepatitis A
If you have any of the following symptoms after eating at Tropical Smoothie Café in recent months, you need to consult with an attorney:
- Clay-colored stool
- Abdominal pain on your right side below your ribs
- Joint pain
- Dark urine
- Appetite loss
- Yellowing of eyes and skin
Hepatitis A does not look the same in every patient. You may have a mild or severe case, and not every case will exhibit symptoms.
What to Do if You Have Been Affected
If you believe that you or someone you know has contracted Hepatitis A from a food source in the U.S., coming forward could be critical for allowing you to pursue compensation as well as stopping the outbreak. As the above case illustrates, coming forward with your concerns prompts an investigation that may reveal the source of the problems sooner rather than later. If you would like to speak with someone about pursuing a legal claim regarding your injuries, contact our offices today for a free consultation.
Notwithstanding claims relating to this product, the drug/medical device remains approved by the U.S. FDA.