Health Alert:

Hepatitis "A" Community Alert

Department of Health and Human Services
Sherri Heller
Director

6/18/2013 10:00 PM

Media Contact:

Laura McCasland    mccaslandla@saccounty.net    (916) 875-2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Sacramento County, Division of Public Health and Environmental Management Department, collaborating with the California Department of Public Health is currently investigating an outbreak of hepatitis A infections believed to be associated with Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend frozen berries that have been purchased from Costco and possibly at other retail locations.

As of May 30, 2013 Costco has removed this product from their shelves and is contacting consumers who have a history of purchasing the berries. Individuals may still have Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend frozen berries in their freezers; if so, you should not eat the product and either discard any remaining product or return it to the Costco where it was purchased.  Some Costco facilities in Sacramento County may have used the product to make shakes or smoothies for customer sampling, or served the product in a dessert or as a garnish that could result in customers who may not know they have been exposed to the product.
 
If you consumed this product during the past 2 weeks and have not previously had or been vaccinated against hepatitis A, contact your health care provider to find out if you should be vaccinated at this time for possible exposure to this product. It takes from 15-50 days (average 28 days) to become ill with hepatitis A after eating contaminated food.

Symptoms of Acute Hepatitis A infection include: yellowing of the eyes or skin (jaundice), abdominal pain, pale (light-colored) stools, or dark urine, contact your health care provider right away if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.
 
Hepatitis A vaccine can prevent illness if given within two weeks of exposure. If you do not have a health care provider, contact the Sacramento County Division of Public Health Immunization Assistance Program at (916) 875-7468 and arrangements to obtain vaccine can be scheduled.

If you have already received the hepatitis A vaccine in the past, you are unlikely to become ill with the disease at this time.
 
As of June 14, approximately 106 cases have been reported in eight states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Washington.  Of the 106 cases 2 cases have been identified in Sacramento County. 
 

Olivia Kasirye, MD, Health Officer
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