According to Denmark’s State Serum Institute, an outbreak of hepatitis A linked to dates has sickened 14 people, hospitalizing all but one, since the first confirmed illness in December 2017.

During the initial interviews, several of the patients indicated having eaten dates. Juicy Dates brand dates were recalled Feb. 6.

Public health epidemiologists found virus samples from seven of the patients is type 3A, “and for the time being, genetic studies have shown that four of these are identical,” supporting the suspicion of a common source of infection.

Reports of illness are expected to continue because hepatitis A symptoms generally take four weeks after exposure to develop. However, it can take as many as 50 days after exposure to the virus for symptoms of infection to appear. Anyone who has recently eaten Juicy Dates branded dates should monitor themselves for symptoms in the coming weeks.

People can spread the virus before symptoms begin. Some people who are infected never develop any symptoms, complicating the impact of the highly contagious pathogen.

Symptoms can include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, abdominal discomfort, dark urine, diarrhea and yellowing of the skin or eyes.

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