September 21, 2019

Townsend Farms Hepatitis A Outbreak Grows to 140 Sick

The CDC has announced that the hepatitis A outbreak linked to pomegranate seeds imported from Turkey has grown to include 140 people. Sixty-one people have been hospitalized in this outbreak; no deaths have been reported. The seeds were included in the Townsend Farms product Organic Antioxidant Blend frozen berry and pomegranate mix that has been recalled.

Hepatitis-A-7513

Those sickened in this outbreak live in these states: Arizona (20), California (69), Colorado (26), Hawaii (8), New Mexico (6), Nevada (6), Utah (3), and Wisconsin (2). All of those hospitalized are over 18 years of age. Eight children are sick in this outbreak; none were previously vaccinated against the hepatitis A virus. All ill persons who reported eating the recalled Townsend Farms product purchased it from Costco markets. The outbreak strain of the virus, which is genotype 1B, was found in clinical specimens of 56 people in seven states: Arizona (6), California (15), Colorado (22), Hawaii (4), New Mexico (4), Nevada (4), and Wisconsin (1).

Government officials have determined, through epidemiological and traceback investigations, pomegranate seeds imported by Goknur Foodstuffs Import Export Trading are the most likely vehicle for the virus. Shipments of those seeds are being detained at the border. The FDA is updating recall and other information about this outbreak at their site. Townsend Farms, Harris Teeter, and Scenic Fruit Company have all recalled pomegranate products imported from Turkey.

If you have touched or eaten any of the recalled products, contact your doctor to see if you should receive a vaccination against the hepatitis A virus, or if you should monitor yourself for symptoms of the disease.

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