WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2016

Hepatitis A outbreak linked to Costco frozen berry mix

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and partners are investigating a Hepatitis A outbreak that began in April and is linked to Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend frozen berries from Costco.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration, along with other state health departments, are also investigating the outbreak. The first infection was reported on April 29. Since then, there have been 30 cases of hepatitis A reported across Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona and California.

The FDA is investigating the product for traces of hepatitis A, which usually stems from fecal matter. The berry mix includes cherries, blueberries, pomegranate seeds, raspberries and strawberries. The study will take several weeks to complete.

The berry mix has been taken off of the shelves of Costco, although a formal recall has not been given. Health officials recommend anyone that has purchased this blend does not eat it.

Hepatitis A produces a range of symptoms, including mild fever, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and jaundice. Some may experience very mild symptoms, especially children, but infection is still highly contagious.

Health officials recommend anyone that has eaten the berry mix within 14 days get vaccinated immediately. Symptoms take two to six weeks to appear. Officials also recommend those who ate the berries or may be in contact with someone who did monitor themselves for signs of infection.