Crouse Health Online: Wellness is just a click away.
Share Share
  |  Connect with Us: 
large
med
small
Text Size
 

Health News



61 Now Sickened in Hepatitis A Outbreak Tied to Frozen Berry Mix

61 Now Sickened in Hepatitis A Outbreak Tied to Frozen Berry Mix

06/06/13

THURSDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- The number of people now ill in a hepatitis A outbreak that may be tied to a frozen berry/pomegranate mix continues to rise, U.S. health officials said on Wednesday.

As of June 5, 61 people in Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Hawaii and California have been reported ill with hepatitis A that may be connected to Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend frozen berry and pomegranate mix, according to an update issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

On Tuesday, 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 Associated Pressreported.

According to the World Health Organization, hepatitis A illnesses typically arise within 14 and 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.

Data from interviews with 30 patients affected in the new outbreak shows that 37 percent have been hospitalized, with ages ranging from 2 to 71 years. The dates of the start of illnesses range from April 29 to May 27.

22 of the 30 patients who were interviewed said they ate Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend frozen berry and pomegranate mix. Twenty-two patients said they bought the product from Costco markets, but investigators are still trying to determine if the product was also sold at other stores besides Costco and 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. As of Tuesday, Harris Teeter Supermarkets has also voluntarily pulled the frozen organic berry blend from its store shelves, the APsaid.

Preliminary laboratory analyses of specimens from two patients 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, the CDC said.

The label on the Townsend Farms product says it contains products from the United States, Argentina, Chile and Turkey.

Speaking to the AP, Bill Gaar, a lawyer representing Townsend Farms, said last week that the recalled product did contain pomegranate seeds from Turkey. The Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend was the only Townsend Farms product to contain such seeds, he added.

"We do have very good records, we know where the (pomegranate seeds) came from, we're looking into who the broker is and we're sourcing it back up the food chain to get to it," Gaar told AP.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has more about hepatitis A.

Health NewsCopyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

OF INTEREST:
 

Latest News

Crouse First in Area to Perform Single-Site Hysterectomy
more >

MedEx Bedside Prescription Delivery Service

Free service offers convenience, patient education at discharge.
more >

CrouseSports Express After-Hours Ortho Care

Immediate care of orthopedic injuries in kids and adults.
more >

Weight Loss Surgery

Is it right for you? Attend a free information seminar held twice monthly.
more >

Quality at Crouse

See how Crouse Hospital strives to provide the best in patient care.
more >

Cheer Up That Special Someone

Say get well or welcome a new arrival with a gift purchased right at Crouse.

more >

Make an Online Donation Now

Your donation of any amount helps support Crouse services & programs in a meaningful way.
more >

Shop Online Now

Say get well, thinking of you or welcome new baby with a unique gift from the Crouse Gift Shop.

more >