Va. hepatitis A cases linked to Tropical Smoothie Cafe climb to 35

Posted at 3:13 PM, Aug 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-26 15:14:23-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- The number of confirmed cases of hepatitis A linked to frozen strawberries used at Tropical Smoothie Cafes across Virginia continues to climb.

As of Friday, there were seven new confirmed cases, bringing the total number of cases among Virginia residents to 35, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

Breaking down the numbers, there are now six cases in Central Virginia, 14 in Northern Virginia, five in Northwest Virginia and 10 in the eastern region on the state.

Throughout the week, confirmed cases of hepatitis A have increased beginning with 17 cases on Tuesday.

A law firm representing several people who became sick, is filing a class action lawsuit against the chain in connection with the outbreak.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe

Earlier this week, CBS 6 reported urgent care offices in the Richmond-area have seen an increase in patients with symptoms that might be caused by hepatitis A.

The VDH identified a possible link between frozen strawberries from Egypt that were used at Tropical Smoothie Cafés between August 5 and August 8, and hepatitis A.

The CEO of Tropical Smoothie Café said the strawberries in question were voluntarily removed from all stores when they learned of a possible link.

The VDH said they want anyone who consumed a smoothie with frozen strawberries at a restaurant within the last 50 days to watch out for symptoms of hepatitis A.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe

Officials say classic symptoms of hepatitis A are fatigue, nausea, abdominal cramps and jaundice, the yellowing of the skin and eyes. Symptoms can develop 50 days after exposure.

People who have been vaccinated for hepatitis A are not at risk, officials said. Additionally, health experts stressed customers who consumed a smoothie after the strawberries were pulled from restaurants are not be at risk.