NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- The Virginia Department of Health said that as of noon September 6, the number of Hepatitis A cases in Virginia linked to frozen strawberries used by Tropical Smoothie Cafe is 70.
The VDH says testing indicates frozen strawberries from Egypt used at the smoothie chain may be to blame for the illnesses.
The Hepatitis A cases are from across Virginia: 14 in the eastern region (which includes Hampton Roads), 39 in the northern region, 10 in the northwestern region, and seven in the central region. No cases have been reported in the southwest region of Virginia.
The age range of the people infected is 14 to 68.
Tropical Smoothie Cafe said it stopped using the strawberries from Egypt at all of its stores, including those outside Virginia, by or before August 9 (after learning about the potential issue). The smoothie chain said the cafes and their food handling practices "have not been implicated in any way."
Symptoms of Hepatitis A include jaundice, fever, fatigue, loss of appetite and nausea.
Frequent hand washing with soap and warm water after using the bathroom, changing a diaper, or before preparing food can help prevent the spread of Hepatitis A.
It is very important for people who have symptoms of Hepatitis A to stay home from work, especially if they work in food service.
Individuals can contact their local health department with any questions concerning this investigation. For more information, visit the Virginia Department of Health's website.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.