April 2, 2020

Fresh Thyme Blackberries Hepatitis A Outbreak Ends With 20 Ill

The Fresh Thyme blackberries hepatitis A outbreak has ended after sickening 20 people in 7 states, according to the Centers for Disease  Control and Prevention (CDC). That is an increase of 2 more illnesses since the last update on December 11, 2019.

Fresh Thyme Blackberries Hepatitis A Outbreak Ends With 20 Ill

The case count by state as of February 19, 2020 is: Indiana (3), Michigan (1), Minnesota (1), Missouri (1), Nebraska (7), Pennsylvania (1), and Wisconsin (6). The CDC update did not provide the current case count numbers by state, but the FDA did. Pennsylvania was added to the state list, and one more ill person in Wisconsin was added.

Illness onset dates ranged from October 8, 2019 to November 15, 2019. The patient age range was from 14 to 72 years.

Of 19 people who gave information about their illness to investigators, 11, or 58%, were hospitalized.┬áThis is a very high hospitalization rate for a hepatitis A outbreak. Most people aren’t hospitalized when they contract this infection.

Epidemiologic and traceback information and evidence indicates that fresh blackberries were the likely source of this outbreak. Ill persons answered questions about their food exposures in the 2 to 7 weeks before they got sick. Of those interviewed, 95% said they ate fresh blackberries. Of 17 people who knew where the blackberries they ate came from, 16 of them, or 94%, said they bought fresh, conventionally grown blackberries from either Fresh Thyme Farmers Market or Woodman’s Market in September 2019.

Once again, a single, common source of the fresh, conventional blackberries that caused this outbreak could not be identified.

Lawyer Fred Pritzker

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with hepatitis A or any other type of food poisoning, you can contact food safety attorney Fred Pritzker for help by calling 1-888-377-8900 or 612-338-0202.

Symptoms of hepatitis A include yellow skin and eyes (jaundice), loss of appetite, stomach pain, vomiting, fever, dark urine, light clay-colored stools, joint pain, lethargy, nausea, and diarrhea. Symptoms usually start 2 weeks to 50 days after exposure to the virus.

Most people recover on their own after this illness, but some, especially those with liver disease, become so sick they must be hospitalized. In rare cases, hepatitis A can cause liver failure and death.

If you have eaten fresh conventionally grown blackberries and have been ill with these symptoms, see your doctor. You may be part of this Fresh Thyme blackberries hepatitis A outbreak.

 

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