-- Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) -- The number of people
sickened in a hepatitis A outbreak that may be tied to a frozen
berry/pomegranate mix now stands at 87, U.S. health officials said
As of June 10, cases had been reported in eight states: Arizona,
California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and
Washington. The number of cases is expected to rise as the
investigation continues, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention.
The CDC said the hepatitis A cases may be connected to Townsend
Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend frozen berry and pomegranate
The agency said 36 people who were sickened have been
hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported. Forty-six of 68 ill
people interviewed (70 percent) reported eating Townsend Farms
Organic Antioxidant Blend frozen berry and pomegranate mix.
On June 4, Oregon-based Townsend Farms recalled the frozen berry
mixes, which were sold to Costco and Harris Teeter stores. The
mixes were sold under the Townsend Farms label at Costco and under
the Harris Teeter brand at that chain of stores, the
All of those sickened said they'd purchased the product from
Costco markets. No cases have been traced to product bought at
Harris Teeter, the CDC said.
Costco has removed the product from its shelves and is notifying
members who purchased the product since late February 2013, the CDC
Preliminary laboratory analyses of specimens from two states
suggest the hepatitis A strain responsible for the outbreak is rare
in North America but is common in Africa and the Middle East. The
strain was pinpointed as the cause of a recent hepatitis A outbreak
in Europe linked to frozen berries, and to a 2012 outbreak in
British Columbia associated with a frozen berry blend with
pomegranate seeds from Egypt. But, there's no evidence that these
outbreaks are related, the CDC said.
The label on the Townsend Farms product says it contains
products from the United States, Argentina, Chile and Turkey.
According to the World Health Organization, hepatitis A
illnesses typically arise within 14 to 28 days of infection.
Symptoms may include nausea, fever, lethargy, jaundice and loss of
appetite. There's a vaccine against hepatitis A, and it may ease
symptoms if given soon after exposure to the virus.
The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney
Diseases has more about
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