January 17, 2018

CDC Updates Hepatitis A Outbreak Associated with Townsend Farms Berries

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated the Hepatitis A outbreak associated with Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxdant Blend frozen berry and pomegranate mix. Now 49 people are sick with acute Hepatitis A in seven states. And eleven people have been hospitalized. The numbers are most likely going to change every day.

The ill persons are in Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Hawaii, and California. Twenty-six people have been interviewed. Sixty-percent, or 15 patients, are women. The patient age range is from 2 to 71 years. Illness onset dates range from 4/29/13 to 5/24/13. Nineteen people, or 76%, reported eating “Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend” frozen berry and pomegranate mix before becoming ill. Nineteen people bought this product at Costco supermarkets. The product was also sold at Harris Teeter stores and may have been for sale elsewhere. The FDA just released a recall of this product.

Preliminary test results suggest the outbreak strain of Hepatitis A is genotype 1B, which is rarely seen in America. The genotype is common in Middle Eastern and North African countries.

The CDC is offering advice for consumers about this outbreak and the attendant recall. Do not eat or handle this product. Discard it, or double bag the product and wash your hands thoroughly. Check with your physician about the necessity of a Hepatitis A or immune globulin vaccine. And monitor yourself and your family for symptoms of Hepatitis A, which include yellowing eyes or skin, abdominal pain, pale stools, and dark urine. More information about Hepatitis A is also available at the CDC web site.

 

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