Rochester, Minnesota - Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus and according to several news reports this week, a virus outbreak connected to strawberries has shown up in several U.S. states:

An outbreak of hepatitis A caused by imported frozen strawberries from Egypt has sickened 55 people in six states., the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health authorities confirmed 44 total infections in Virginia, where the outbreak first appeared, and additional infections in Maryland (4), West Virginia (4), North Carolina (1), Oregon (1) and Wisconsin (1).  - CNN

The virus is one of several types of hepatitis viruses that cause inflammation and affect your liver's ability to function.

You're most likely to contract hepatitis A from contaminated food or water or from close contact with someone who's infected. Mild cases of hepatitis A don't require treatment, and most people who are infected recover completely with no permanent liver damage.

Practicing good hygiene, including washing hands frequently, is one of the best ways to protect against hepatitis A. Vaccines are available for people most at risk.

Hepatitis A is a viral liver infection that is highly contagious but does not result in chronic infection.