We may not always eat healthy but when we do smoothies seem to be a big part of it. Especially with all of the Tropical Smoothie Cafes around. The food is great, the smoothies are great and so is the atmosphere. So what we may not know could be shocking. I know I was shocked.
There has been a hepatitis A outbreak affecting at least 55 people within six states, including: Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Oregon. This cases have been linked to the frozen strawberries imported from a company in Egypt that are being used in the smoothies at Tropical Smoothie Cafes.
Hepatitis A is highly contagious. It is a viral infection that affects the liver. You can get it from oral contamination or fecal contamination. Some of the things you should do to avoid contact with it if you believe you or someone you with is infected are as the following:
- No kissing
- Keeping the toilet bowl clean (can be spread through fecal matter)
- Do not share dishes, utensils, toothbrushes or items that could carry body secretions (deodorant, shoes, etc)
- Practice good hygiene and wash hands adequately
- Clean everything with soap and hot water
To protect yourself from this vaccine you could also get a hepatitis A vaccine. According to cbsnews.com, if you are harboring hepatitis A, there is an incubation period of two to four weeks where you could potentially pass it on to others. Once you are exposed you are shedding the virus for two to four weeks. You may not even be ill at that time, but you are still capable of passing it on whether at school, work or with the people you live with.
If you believe you are infected with hepatitis A you should see a doctor to confirm this. If you do not you could widen the outbreak. Some symptoms of the virus include: stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, and a low-grade fever to a sore throat and headache. You could also have darkened urine or yellowing of the eyes.