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What you need to know during this Strawberry Hepatitis A Outbreak

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Total United States Illnesses: 17 – Canada 10
United States Hospitalizations: 12 – Canada 4
Illness onset dates range from March 28 – April 30, 2022.
States with Cases: California (15), Minnesota (1), North Dakota (1) – Provinces with Cases: Alberta (4) and Saskatchewan (6)
Product Distribution: United State and Canada

The FDA, along with CDC, the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, state, and local partners are investigating a multistate outbreak of hepatitis A infections in the United States and Canada potentially linked to fresh organic strawberries branded as FreshKampo and HEB, purchased between March 5, 2022, and April 25, 2022.

Currently, the potentially affected FreshKampo and HEB products are past shelf life. People who purchased FreshKampo and HEB fresh organic strawberries between March 5, 2022, and April 25, 2022, and then froze those strawberries for later consumption should not eat them. These products were sold at the following retailers, including, but not limited to:

Aldi

HEB

Kroger

Safeway

Sprouts Farmers Market

Trader Joe’s

Walmart

Weis Markets

WinCo Foods

Canadian Co-op stores

What is Hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is the only common vaccine-preventable foodborne disease in the United States. It is one of five human hepatitis viruses that primarily infect the human liver and cause human illness. Unlike hepatitis B and C, hepatitis A doesn’t develop into chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis, but in rare cases infection with hepatitis A virus can lead to a more rapid onset of liver failure and death.

How do you contract Hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is a contagious disease that is transmitted by the “fecal – oral route,” either through person-to-person contact or contaminated food or water. Food-related outbreaks are usually traced to food that has been contaminated by an infected food handler. Fresh produce contaminated during cultivation, harvesting, processing, and distribution has also been a source of hepatitis A.

What are the signs and symptoms of Hepatitis A?

Symptoms typically begin about 28 days after infection but can begin as early as 15 days or as late as 50 days after exposure. Symptoms may include headache, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal discomfort, fatigue, joint pain, dark urine, clay colored bowel movements, and fever. Jaundice, a yellowish discoloration of the skin and whites of the eyes, occurs in most cases. Hepatitis A may cause no symptoms at all when it is contracted, especially in children. Those infected usually recover fully within 2 to 6 months.

What to do if you become infected with Hepatitis A:

Infection is determined by a blood test. If you know you have been exposed to hepatitis A, immune globulin shots or a hepatitis A vaccine can reduce your chance of infection by up to 90%.

How to Prevent a Hepatitis A Infection:

Ask your health care provider about vaccination – there are many reasons to seriously consider it, including working with food or ill persons, travel, or an impaired immune system. Children who contract hepatitis A but have no symptoms can also pass the virus through ordinary play to their parents. Make sure your childcare providers are vaccinated and be aware of friends and relatives who may have traveled to countries with high rates of infection. Stay alert to notices of outbreaks to determine if your family has been exposed.

The Food Safety Law Firm:

Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Hepatitis A outbreaks. The Hepatitis A lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Hepatitis A and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $800 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.

Additional Resources:

Republished with permission from Bill Marler and Marler Clark. Copyright (c) Marler Clark LLP, PS. All rights reserved.



Source: https://www.marlerblog.com/case-news/what-you-need-to-know-during-this-strawberry-hepatitis-a-outbreak/


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