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Hepatitis A outbreak has been linked to a berry mix sold in Costco stores.

11:47 AM, Jun 1, 2013   |    comments
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Health officials have linked an outbreak of acute hepatitis A that has sickened at least 30 people in five states to a frozen berry and pomegranate mix.

Cases have been reported in Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, and California. In a release Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the first victims fell ill on April 29 and the most recent case was May 17. It is believed more will come.

The outbreak appears to be linked to a frozen berry blend sold by Costco called The Townsend Farms Organic Anti-oxidant Blend Frozen Berry Mix, a frozen berry and pomegranate seed mix.

Costco is notifying all members who purchased the product since late February and has removed it from its shelves.

Health officials don't yet know if the product was sold at other stores or markets. They do know that frozen berry blends are often used to make smoothies, frozen bar drinks and other types of desserts and drinks. One concern is that smaller businesses might have bought bulk frozen berries at Costco and then used them in other products.

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection caused by a virus. Of the people who've been sickened in this outbreak, 47% have been hospitalized, the CDC said.

Some people who contract it have no symptoms but many have fever, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal and joint pain.


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