January 16, 2018

CDC’s Final Report on Hepatitis Outbreak Townsend Farms Mixed Berries

Hep-A-CostcoHepatitis A in bags of Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend frozen mixed berries sold at Costco stores sickened 162 people in 10 states between May and September, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) final report. The source of contamination was identified as pomegranate seeds imported from Goknur Foodstuffs Import Export Trading in Turkey.

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious virus. Sometimes those who are infected show no symptoms. For those who do become sick, symptoms usually develop two weeks after exposure and can last for months. They include mild fever, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, dark urine, clay colored stools and jaundice.

Help for Hepatitis A VictimsOnset of illnesses ranged from March 1 to July 26. About 44 percent of the case patients, who ranged in age from 1 – 84 years old, were hospitalized. Fifty five percent of  those sickened were women.  The case count included 11 children who had not been vaccinated.

By state the case count was as follows:Arizona (23), California (79), Colorado (28), Hawaii (8), New Hampshire (1), New Jersey (1), New Mexico (11), Nevada (6), Utah (3), and Wisconsin (2). [Note: The Wisconsin cases resulted from exposure to the product in California, the New Hampshire cases result from exposure in Nevada, and the New Jersey case was a household contact of a confirmed case from Colorado.]  Overall, 6 of the confirmed cases were secondary exposures from household contacts.

Although the product was also sold at Harris Teeter stores, no one who became ill bought the product at Harris Teeter.

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