September 27, 2016

Hawaii Scallop Hepatitis A Outbreak Grows to 276 Sick

The hepatitis A outbreak in Hawaii that is linked to raw scallops imported from the Philippines served at Genki Sushi restaurants has grown by five more this week. That brings the total sickened to 276. All of the cases are in adults. Sixty-eight people have been hospitalized in this outbreak, about 24.6%. On August 15, 2016, public health officials discovered the hepatitis A virus in Sea Port Bay Scallops (Wild Harvest, Raw Frozen) from the Philippines that were distributed by Koha Oriental Foods and sold at Genki Sushi restaurants on Oahu and Kauai. Food workers at six restaurants and two flight attendants for Hawaiian Airlines have also been diagnosed with this illness. The restaurants and the airline are not the source of this outbreak, and no illnesses have been linked to … [Read more...]

Now 98 Virginia Residents Sick with Hepatitis A

As of 12:00 pm on September 16, 2016, 98 Virginia residents who consumed a smoothie at Tropical Smoothie Cafe before August 8, 2016 have been diagnosed with hepatitis A. That brings the total sickened, including last week's numbers from the CDC, to 117. Other states with patients are North Carolina, Maryland, New York, Oregon, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. About 38% of those sickened, for whom information is available, have been hospitalized because their illnesses are so severe. The patient age range is from 14 to 70, and the illness onset dates range from early May through September. The count by region is: 57 Northern, 15 Northwest, 15 Eastern, 11 Central, 0 Southwest. Strawberries imported from Egypt that were used to make the smoothies have been named as the source of the … [Read more...]

Hawaii Hepatitis A Outbreak Linked to Scallops Rises to 271

The hepatitis A outbreak in Hawaii that is linked to raw scallops imported from the Philippines has increased to 271 people sick. That is an increase of 19 new cases in the last week. All of those sickened have been adults. Sixty-eight people have been hospitalized because their illnesses are so severe. Onset of illness dates have ranged from 6/12/16 to 9/4/16. Investigators found the hepatitis A virus in raw Sea Port Bay Scallops from the Philippines that were served at Genki Sushi restaurants on Oahu and Kauai. The scallops were imported by Kohn Oriental Foods and distributed in that state. The scallops have been embargoed and are no longer being sold. But the incubation period of this illness is quite long, up to 50 days, and is easily spread person to person. That means this … [Read more...]

Genki Sushi Hawaii Restaurants Reopen After Hepatitis A Outbreak

The Hawaii State Department of Health has cleared Genki Sushi restaurants to open after a hepatitis A outbreak linked to frozen imported raw scallops sickened more than 250 people. The press release, issued on September 9, 2016, states that the establishments "completed extensive sanitizing of their facilities, disposal of potentially affected items, and medical screening of employees for Hepatitis A." Dr. Virginia Pressler, Health Director of the Hawaii State Department of Health said in a statement, "The management team of Genki Sushi restaurants on Oahu and Kauai has given us their full cooperation, and the department is confident that they are in compliance with all health regulations. Genki Sushi has been cleared by the Department of Health to reopen to the public." The … [Read more...]

Tropical Smoothie Virginia Hepatitis A Case Count Grows Again

As of September 14, 2016, 94 Virginia residents have tested positive for hepatitis A after consuming a smoothie at Tropical Smoothie Cafes in that state. That is an increase of seven cases in Virginia from the last update on September 12, 2016. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is investigating this outbreak as well. Numbers from the CDC of patients in other states are: Maryland (10), New York (1), North Carolina (1), Oregon (1), West Virginia (5), and Wisconsin (1). That means that there are now at least 113 people sick in this outbreak. Nearly all of the ill persons interviewed reported drinking smoothies containing strawberries at Tropical Smoothie Cafe locations in Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia, according to the CDC. The Virginia … [Read more...]

Hawaii Hepatitis A Outbreak Stands at 252 Sick

The Hawaii Department of Health has updated their investigation into the hepatitis A outbreak in that state. As of September 7, 2016, 252 people have been sickened. That is an increase of 11 new cases since last Wednesday. All of the cases have been in adults. Sixty-six people have required hospitalization because their illnesses are so severe. Illness onset dates have ranged between 6/12/16 to 8/30/16. On August 15, 2016, the government identified raw scallops, imported from the Philippines, that were served at Genki Sushi restaurants on Oahu and Kauai as a likely source of the outbreak. The product, Sea Port Bay Scallops (Wild Harvest, Raw Frozen) was distributed by Koha Oriental Foods. Because the incubation period of this particular virus can be so long, and because the virus … [Read more...]

Now 73 Sick in VA in Tropical Smoothie Hepatitis A Outbreak

The Virginia Department of Health released another update on the hepatitis A outbreak among people who consumed a smoothie at Tropical Smoothie Cafe before they got sick. Now at least 73 people are sick in this outbreak that has spread to seven states. The patient age range is from 14 to 68. Onset of illness dates range from early May through August, 2016. The count by region in Virginia is: 40 Northern, 10 Northwest, 14 Eastern, 9 Central, 0 Southwest. About 42% of those sickened have been hospitalized because their illnesses are so severe. The smoothies were consumed before August 9, 2016. Tropical Smoothie Cafes in Virginia received frozen imported strawberries from Egypt. Testing found the hepatitis A virus in some of that product. The CDC has not updated their investigation … [Read more...]

Hepatitis A in Berries in Australia Similar to 2013 U.S. Outbreak

An outbreak of hepatitis A in Australia linked to frozen berries from China has prompted memories of a huge 2013 hepatitis A outbreak linked to frozen berries in the U.S. At least five people in Australia are currently sick with the virus. In 2013, traceback investigation in the U.S. outbreak found that the virus was likely in frozen imported pomegranate seeds from Turkey that was used in Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend. One hundred sixty-five people were sickened; their illness onset dates ranged from 3/31/2013 - 8/12/2013. Forty-two percent of patients were hospitalized. All ill people who reported eating the recalled Townsend Farms product purchased it from Costco markets. Attorney Fred Pritzker, who represents clients in the U.S. outbreak, said, "people who bought this … [Read more...]

Huge Hepatitis A Outbreak Linked to Townsend Farms Pomegranate Seeds

A huge outbreak of hepatitis A linked to pomegranate seeds in Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant blend sickened 165 people in 10 states in 2013. Seventy-one people were hospitalized in this outbreak and several recalls were issued. The FDA also investigated this outbreak. The case count by state was as follows: Arizona (24), California (80), Colorado (29), Hawaii (8), New Hampshire (1), New Jersey (1), New Mexico (11), Nevada (6), Utah (3), and Wisconsin (2). Fifty-five percent of ill persons were female. The age range was from less than one year to 84 years. Illness onset dates ranged from 3/31/2013 - 8/12/2013. Forty-two percent of all ill persons were hospitalized. No deaths were reported. All people who reported eating this product before they became ill purchased it from Costco … [Read more...]

Rosa’s Restaurant Cited with Violations Before Hepatitis A Warning

Before a Rosa's Restaurant employee was diagnosed with Hepatitis A last month, the facility was cited for handwashing violations. The violations were for employees not washing their hands in a timely manner, workers not performing proper handwashing, and the business not providing paper towel for the handwashing facilities. Other employees were observed making food with their bare hands, which is a food safety violation. At least four Hamilton area New Jersey residents developed Hepatitis A; they ate at the restaurant during the time the ill employee worked there, but officials aren't sure if the cases are directly linked to the restaurant. The restaurant was closed and cleaned after an employee told the owners he had been diagnosed with the disease. Public health officials have … [Read more...]

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