On the 2 September 2016 the media reported 70 cases of Hepatits A, of which 32 cases have been hospitalised.
This outbreak has been linked to infected frozen strawberries that were shipped to the USA from Egypt and used in the smoothie restaurant chain ‘Tropical Smoothie Café’. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have advised that the infected strawberries appear to have been consumed at locations in Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.
In response Tropical Smoothie Café has removed Egyptian frozen strawberries from their restaurants in Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia and switched to another supplier.
The CDC has advised that anybody who has become ill following consumption of smoothie containing frozen strawberries should contact their doctor.
Advice for Travellers
Hepatitis A is spread through contaminated water and food or person to person via the faecal-oral route. Most travellers to the USA will be at very low risk of disease.
Travellers to USA should be made aware of current outbreak and advised to avoid consumption of potentially contaminated drinks and drinking water and to ensure food is uncontaminated or cooked thoroughly. Personal hygiene when eating and drinking is also important including hand washing prior to eating and using clean plates, cups and utensils.