Strawberry smoothies served at Tropical Smoothie Cafe restaurants have been linked to an outbreak of hepatitis A infections. “Genetic testing shows the illnesses were caused by a strain of hepatitis A that has been associated with past outbreaks due to frozen strawberries from Egypt,” according to the Virginia Department of Health. People have been sickened in Maryland (10), New York (1), North Carolina (1), Oregon (1), Virginia (94), West Virginia (5), and Wisconsin (1).
Contaminated raw scallops served at Genki Sushi restaurants have been linked to the hepatitis A outbreak in Hawaii that has sickened 252 people, according to the Hawaii State Department of Health. Of the 252 people sickened to date, 66 have required hospitalization. The date of onset of illness has ranged from June 12 to August 30, 2016.
What is Hepatitis A?
Hepatitis A, a liver disease, is caused by an infection from the hepatitis A virus. However, not everyone who is infected with the hepatitis A virus will have symptoms of the illness. In most cases, the illness is characterized by mild, flu-like gastrointestinal symptoms. At its worst, it can impair proper functioning of the liver and even lead to death.
Our lawyers help people with hepatitis A sue restaurants, food companies and drug companies who sell products contaminated with the virus. They have won millions for their clients. You can click here now to contact them or call 1-888-377-8900 (toll free). Attorneys Fred Pritzker, Brendan Flaherty and Ryan Osterholm are our lead lawyers for these lawsuits.
A virus is a collection of molecules that uses the body’s method of constructing new material to produce copies of itself. As is the case with other viruses, when the hepatitis A virus uses a human host to reproduce itself, the human host often becomes ill in the effort to fight the virus.
Scientists have classified the hepatitis A virus as a member of the enterovirus group of the Picornaviridae family. The family of viruses is characterized by a single molecule of RNA encased by a small protein shell. Other picornaviruses cause human illnesses ranging from polio to the common cold.
The hepatitis A virus is the most common of the hepatitis viruses, accounting for around 40 percent of all cases of hepatitis in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), each year in the United States an estimated 143,000 cases of hepatitis A virus infection occur, but only around 30,000 are reported. It is also responsible for an estimated 1.4 million cases worldwide each year.
How is Hepatitis A Spread?
The hepatitis A virus is spread from person to person by “fecal-oral” transmission. This means the virus is transmitted when a person puts something in his/her mouth that has been contaminated with the stool of a person infected with the hepatitis A virus. Because hepatitis A depends on the fecal-oral route for transmission, the illness is most easily spread in poor sanitary conditions or when good personal hygiene is not observed.
Outbreaks are often traced back to contaminated food. Food supplies can become contaminated when infected workers come into contact with food supplies during processing or in restaurants.
The foods most commonly associated with hepatitis A outbreaks are water, shellfish and salads. In most cases, the true source is water that has been contaminated with the feces of an infected person. Other common sources of foodborne hepatitis A are: cold cuts, pre-made sandwiches, unwashed fruit, fruit juices, milk products, vegetables, salads, shellfish, and iced drinks.
Most people who become infected with the hepatitis A virus return to normal health. Although the illness is more common in children, it is often more severe in adults. More than one-fifth of adult patients require hospitalization. In severe cases, hepatitis A can cause inflammation and swelling of the liver. This can impair liver function and cause permanent damage to the liver. Most of these cases require hospitalization. Each year approximately 100 people die as a result of hepatitis A infections in the U.S.
Our law firm is investigating a lawsuit against Tropical Smoothie Cafe for people who are part of the 2016 hepatitis A outbreak linked to frozen strawberries. At least 70 people from 7 states have been sickened: Maryland (6), New York (1), North Carolina (1), Oregon (1), Virginia (55), West Virginia (5), and Wisconsin (1). The company imported these strawberries from Egypt. Attorneys Ryan Osterholm and Brendan Flaherty are representing a number of people sickened in this outbreak.
The FDA released a startling article about the imported Egyptian strawberries that were recalled for hepatitis A contamination after the Tropical Smoothie Cafe outbreak this summer. The strawberries were sold to schools, restaurants, and institutions around the country.
Genki Sushi restaurants are a possible source of the 2016 hepatitis A outbreak in Hawaii that has sickened over 160 people. Restaurants on Oahu and Kauai have been temporarily closed on order from the State of Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH). After months of investigation, HDOH has determined that source of the outbreak is most likely imported, frozen scallops served at the restaurant.
The CDC issued its final report on the 2013 hepatitis A outbreak linked to Townsend Farms berries sold at certain Costco stores. 162 people in 10 states were sickened: Arizona (23), California (79), Colorado (28), Hawaii (8), New Hampshire (1), New Jersey (1), New Mexico (11), Nevada (6), Utah (3), and Wisconsin (2).
Depending on the facts of your case, you may be able to sue Costco for hepatitis A food poisoning from frozen berries. The first hepatitis A victims became ill on April 29, 2013, and the most recent on May 21, 2013.