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    Qatar official: Egyptian strawberries not carrying Hepatitis A virus

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    Photo for illustrative purposes only.
    Photo for illustrative purposes only.

    Government officials in Qatar have declared Egyptian strawberries safe to eat amid concerns over whether the frozen fruit carries the Hepatitis A virus.

    According to a Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) official who spoke to Al Raya, samples of strawberries imported into Qatar are being tested for infection, but “no case of contamination has been found.”

    And in a statement earlier this week, the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) said that it has not received any notices or warnings from international agencies about the strawberries.

    It added that it will continue investigating the matter.

    Many in Qatar expressed concern about the fruit on social media after more than 100 people in the US fell ill this year, reportedly from consuming imported frozen strawberries from Egypt.

    US cases

    According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people who drank at the same smoothie chain began getting sick from early May through August.

    However, it took a while for experts to trace the source of infection.

    Hepatitis A a is highly contagious virus that affects the liver and can cause yellow eyes or skin, abdominal pain or pale stools, the CDC said.

    But it does not result in chronic infection.

    About half of those affected by the contaminated fruit were hospitalized, though no deaths were reported.

    Thoughts?

    Shabina S. Khatri
    Shabina S. Khatri is the editor of Doha News. She holds dual bachelor's degrees in Business Administration and Spanish from the University of Michigan, a Masters of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University, has previously taught at NU-Q, and worked for the Wall Street Journal and the Detroit Free Press.

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