(WJW) — The U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s recent announcement about a hepatitis A outbreak might have some wanting to find out more about this virus that causes liver inflammation.

The investigation by the FDA, along with the CDC, found the outbreak was linked to FreshKampo or H-E-B brand organic strawberries.

The FDA said not to eat, serve or sell those brands of strawberries if bought between March 5 and April 25.

Although HAV infections range from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months, some rare cases can progress to liver failure and death.

What are the symptoms?

The FDA says hepatitis A symptoms include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, jaundice, dark urine, and pale stool.

In some cases, particularly in children under the age of six, hepatitis A infection may be asymptomatic.

Illness usually occurs within 15 to 50 days after exposure.

How is hepatitis A spread?

The CDC says the virus is found in the stool and blood of an infected person and can be spread through:

  • Close person-to-person contact including having sex, caring for someone who is ill, or using drugs with others.
  • Eating contaminated food or drink – The FDA says that although foodborne illnesses caused by hepatitis A are not common in the U.S., water, shellfish, raw vegetables and fruit (berries), and salads are most frequently cited as potential foodborne sources.

How common is hepatitis A?

According to the CDC, the hepatitis A vaccine first recommended in 1996 dramatically brought down cases of hepatitis A in the United States. But in recent years, the CDC says multiple outbreaks may be due to person-to-person contact, especially among people who use drugs, people experiencing homelessness and men who have sex with men.

How to prevent a hepatitis A infection

  • Wash hands after touching raw food and also after using the bathroom or changing diapers
  • Wash the inside walls and shelves of your refrigerator, cutting boards, counter tops and utensils
  • Receive the hepatitis A vaccine consisting of 2 shots, given 6 months apart. See more about the vaccine here.
  • Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) treatment for unvaccinated people, which consists of a hepatitis A vaccine for people between the ages of 1 and 40 years; or a hepatitis A virus-specific immunoglobulin (IG) for people outside of this age range.

Who to contact if you’re exposed or become ill

If you become ill, you should contact their health care provider to report your symptoms and to receive care. You can also call an FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator if you wish to speak directly to a person about your problem; complete an electronic Voluntary MedWatch form online; or complete a paper Voluntary MedWatch form that can be mailed to FDA.