August 18, 2019

Costco-Townsend Farms Hepatitis A in California Prompts Lawsuits

California has been hard hit by the hepatitis A outbreak associated with frozen mixed berries sold at Costco which now includes 87 people in eight states, according to the latest update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In California, 38 people have been sickened by the virus that contaminated the frozen berry mix  sold as Townsend Farms brand Organic Antioxidant Blend at Costco stores and Organic Antioxidant Berry Blend at Harris Teeter stores. Some of them have filed lawsuits.

Townsend Farms and Costco Hepatitis AThe Californians who are part of this outbreak are all adults and are from 16 cities. All of them reported eating Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend purchased from Costco before becoming ill, according to California public health officials.  Seventeen of them have been hospitalized.

Hepatitis A is a virus that causes inflammation of the liver. Symptoms, which can take two to seven weeks after exposure to develop, include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, fever, dark urine, clay-colored stools and yellow skin or eyes. Two of the people who filed lawsuits in California,  a 51-year-old woman from Lakewood and a 36-year old man from Placentia, experienced these symptoms.

There is a vaccine for hepatitis A that can prevent illness if given within 14 days of exposure. Anyone who ate the berries recently should contact a health care provider about getting a vaccination. In Los Angeles county, free vaccination clinics continue through this week.

 

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