July 13, 2020

Fresh Thyme Blackberries Hepatitis A Outbreak Grows to 18 Sick

The Fresh Thyme blackberries hepatitis A outbreak has grown again to include 18 sick in 6 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These cases are potentially linked to conventionally grown blackberries sold at Fresh Thyme Farmers Market stores and Woodman’s Market stores in several states from September 9, 2019 through September 30, 2019.

Fresh Thyme Blackberries Hepatitis A Outbreak Grows to 18 Sick

The case count by state is: Indiana (3), Michigan (1), Minnesota (1), Missouri (1), Nebraska (7), and Wisconsin (5). Illness onset dates range from October 8, 2019 to November 15, 2019. The patient age range is from 14 to 73 years. Ten people, or 59% of those interviewed, have been hospitalized, which is a very high percentage for a hepatitis A outbreak.

This outbreak could still grow, since hepatitis A symptoms don’t begin until 15 to 50 days after infection. And it takes up to 4 weeks for a patient to be diagnosed with lab tests and for doctors to report the illness to the government. Since some people may have frozen the blackberries they purchased during the time they were contaminated and haven’t eaten them yet, they could still get sick.

Epidemiologic and traceback evidence is being collected and analyzed by public health officials. A single, common supplier of fresh blackberries hasn’t been identified.

Fresh Thyme Farmers Markets are located in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Woodman’s Markets are located in Wisconsin and Illinois.

All eighteen patients have been interviewed in this outbreak. All of them said they ate fresh blackberries in the 2 to 7 weeks before they got sick. Sixteen patients said that they bought fresh blackberries from either Fresh Thyme Farmers Market or Woodman’s Market before symptoms began.

Lawyer Fred Pritzker

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a hepatitis A infection after eating blackberries,  you can contact attorney Fred Pritzker for help by calling 1-888-377-8900 or 612-338-0202.

The FDA in several states has collected records from these grocery stores where patients said they purchased fresh blackberries and are conducting traceback to try to find the source. If you bought conventional blackberries from Fresh Thyme Farmers Market or Woodman’s Market, which are two Midwest grocery store chains, in the time specified, do not eat them. If you froze blackberries during the month of September and aren’t sure where you got them, throw them away.

However, if you ate the blackberries within the last two weeks, you can still get a vaccination against the virus that will protect you. Talk to your doctor.

The symptoms of hepatitis A include jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), loss of appetite, upset stomach, vomiting, fever, stomach pain, dark urine, clay-colored stools, joint pain, diarrhea, and feeling tired. If you are experiencing these symptoms, see your doctor. You may be part of the blackberries hepatitis A outbreak.

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