Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Second Local Case of Hepatitis A Linked to Recalled Berries

Posted By on Tue, Jun 11, 2013 at 10:21 AM

A second person has now been hospitalized in Humboldt County with Hepatitis A from frozen berries sold at Costco. Anyone who has eaten Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend in the last two weeks is urged to get a Hepatitis A vaccination. The full press release from the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services is below:

A second Humboldt County resident has been hospitalized with Hepatitis A linked by laboratory testing to a recalled frozen berry product previously sold at Costco.

According to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), this brings to 33 the total number of confirmed cases in California. Eleven people have been hospitalized. Both Humboldt County patients have been released.

Costco has notified members who purchased Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend frozen berry and pomegranate mix since late February 2013, and has removed the product from its shelves.

“We ask Humboldt County residents to check their freezers, just to make sure they do not have this product,” said Public Health Director Susan Buckley from the Department of Health and Human Services. “If you have eaten these berries in the past two weeks, we urge you to get a vaccination for Hepatitis A.”

Vaccination is the most effective way to minimize disease for those who have been exposed in the last two weeks, Buckley said.

The recalled product is Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend frozen berries containing dark tart cherries, blueberries, pomegranate arils, red raspberries and strawberries. The item is #595820.

People who ate the berries more than two weeks ago should watch for symptoms of hepatitis. Not everyone who consumed the berries will get Hepatitis A. Symptoms may include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, clay-colored bowel movements, joint pain or jaundice (a yellowing of the skin or eyes).

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 79 cases of acute hepatitis A infections may be linked with consumption of the contaminated berries in eight states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Washington.

Consumer calls can be made directly to the CDPH at 916-650-6595. You can also contact Humboldt County Public Health at 445-6200.

For updates, visit the CDC website.

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