17 people have gotten sick after eating strawberries contaminated with hepatitis A — these are the symptoms to look out for

17 people have gotten sick after eating strawberries contaminated with hepatitis A — these are the symptoms to look out for
People can get Hepatitis A virus unknowingly from contaminated food and drink, or items that have been near an infected person's poop, the FDA said.Getty
  • Hepatitis A cases have been linked to strawberries sold at Walmart, Trader Joe's, and other stores.
  • Symptoms include: fatigue, appetite loss, tummy pain, nausea, vomiting, and yellow skin.

People who develop symptoms of hepatitis A after eating potentially contaminated organic strawberries should contact their healthcare provider, the FDA said amid an outbreak that sickened over a dozen people.

As of Saturday, 17 cases of hepatitis A were reported in the US in people who had eaten strawberries branded FreshKampo and HEB, Insider previously reported.

Symptoms of Hepatitis A include fatigue and tummy pain

Hepatitis A is a liver infection caused by the highly contagious Hepatitis A virus. Most people don't need any treatment if they come in contact with it. In the US, most people are vaccinated against the virus.

The CDC recommends that unvaccinated people who encounter it to get a hepatitis A shot, and possibly an antibody drug, within two weeks of exposure.

Symptoms usually start within 15 to 50 days of coming into contact with the virus, and include fatigue, loss of appetite, tummy pain, nausea, vomiting, yellow skin, dark urine, and pale poop.


Symptoms range in severity and usually last between a few weeks to about two months, without any long-term liver damage.

But in rare cases, the condition can become chronic and lead to liver failure and death. Older people and those with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of severe illness.

Kids younger than 6 years old with hepatitis A don't tend to get symptoms.

The difference between Hepatitis A, B, C

Hepatitis A, B, and C all cause liver infection and inflammation but are different viruses.

Hepatitis A tends to be a short-term infection that doesn't become chronic in the majority of cases, while hepatitis B and C are more likely to remain in the body and cause chronic disease and long-term liver damage.


Hepatitis A is found in an infectious person's poop and most commonly spread via close contact — for example while caring for someone who is unwell with the virus or during sex. People can also ingest hepatitis A unknowingly via contaminated food and drink or items that have been contaminated with an infected person's poop.

Hepatitis B is spread via infected blood, semen, and other body fluids, and hepatitis C is caught from infected blood.

There are vaccines to prevent hepatitis A and hepatitis B, but not hepatitis C.

The strawberries were sold in stores including Walmart and Trader Joe's

The strawberries linked with the cases were sold between March 5 and April 25 at retailers including Aldi, HEB, Kroger, Safeway, Sprouts Farmers Market, Trader Joe's, Walmart, Weis Markets, and WinCo Foods.

The fresh strawberries would be out of date by now, the FDA said, but people who may have frozen them should throw them out instead of eating them.