November 11, 2019

Hepatitis A Outbreak Linked to Townsend Farms Pomegranate Seeds Now at 149 Sick

As of July 17, 2013, 149 people are now sick in the hepatitis A outbreak linked to Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend frozen berry and pomegranate mix. Sixty-five people have been hospitalized in this outbreak with acute hepatitis A. No deaths have been reported.

Hepatitis-A-7913

The case count is as follows: Arizona (22), California (73), Colorado (27), Hawaii (8), New Mexico (8), Nevada (6), Utah (3), and Wisconsin (2). The outbreak strain of the virus was found in clinical specimens of 88 people in seven states: Arizona (11), California (34), Colorado (23), Hawaii (7), New Mexico (6), Nevada (5) and Wisconsin (2). The age range of patients is from 1 to 84 years. Fifty-seven percent of those sickened are between the ages of 40 and 64. Ten children who are 18 years or younger have been sickened in this outbreak; none were previously vaccinated against hepatitis A. Illness onset dates range from 3/31/13 to 7/5/13.

The likely vehicle for this outbreak is a common shipment of pomegranate seeds from Goknur Foodstuffs Import Export Trading in Turkey. No pomegranate seeds imported by that company will be allowed in the U.S.

The outbreak appears to be slowing, according to the epidemiological curve, although cases may continue for the next several weeks. Government health officials are concerned that the Townsend Farms product, which was sold at Costco stores, is still in consumer’s freezers. Read the recall notice and check your freezer to see if you have the product. If you do, discard it and wash your hands thoroughly.

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