TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2016

Colorado confirms 12 cases of hepatitis A from frozen berries

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said on Tuesday that there are 12 confirmed cases of hepatitis A from Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend frozen berries.

The Townsend berries were sold in Costco stores in the Colorado area. The CDC has reported 49 people who are ill with acute hepatitis A that could be linked to the consumption of the berries.

Hepatitis A investigations are under way in Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Clear Creek, Douglas, Eagle, El Paso and Jefferson counties. Arizona, California, Hawaii, New Mexico, Nevada and Utah have also reported cases of hepatitis A that are suspected to be linked to Townsend berries.

Hepatitis A is a virus that is spread by fecal contamination and can be spread from person to person through close contact or food handling. The virus is most commonly spread by contaminated beverages or food.

Symptoms of hepatitis A include mild fever, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, pain in the upper right side of the abdomen, dark urine and jaundice. These symptoms can appear two to six weeks after exposure. The severity of these symptoms, and the virus itself, can vary.

Townsend Farms has issued a voluntary recall of its Organic Antioxidant Blend. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is asking people to check their freezers for the product, and if anyone has consumed any of the tainted product, to contact a local hospital or official.