5 Central Virginia residents diagnosed with Hepatitis A from Tropical Smoothie strawberries

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC/AP) — Five people from Central Virginia have been diagnosed with Hepatitis A from strawberries served by Tropical Smoothie Cafe.

In addition to the five people in Central Virginia, the Virginia Department of Health reports 28 people elsewhere in the state also have the virus.

George Jones, of the Virginia Department of Health, said that the cities that are considered a part of Central Virginia are Richmond, Petersburg, Hopewell, Dinwiddie, Greensville, Farmville, Lunenburg and Charlottesville.

The Counties that comprise this area are Chesterfield, Powhatan, Henrico, Halifax, Hanover, Goochland, New Kent, Charles City, Prince George, Surry, Sussex, South Boston, Mecklenburg, Brunswick, Charlotte, Nottoway, Amelia, Prince Edward, Cumberland, Buckingham, Fluvanna, Louisa, Nelson, Albermarle and Greene.

Jones declined to specify where within the area the five cases occurred.

The strawberries were imported from Egypt and served to customers between August 5th and 9th.

Since people have fallen sick, Tropical Smoothie Cafe stores confirmed they have stopped importing strawberries from Egypt and removed them from all of their stores.

Hepatitis A presents itself within 15 to 50 days of exposure and can be spread between people in direct contact.

According to Dr. Diane Woolard with the Virginia Department of Health, if you do contract hepatitis A, you’ll just have to let the virus run its course, but it is not a disease that will stay with you like some others.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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