Earth Watch Report  -  Epidemic  Hazards

Frozen Berries

Hepatitis A outbreak linked to Oregon berry farm, 30 illnesses reported in 5 states (Photo : Creative Commons via Flickr/ J. Chris Vaughan)

01.06.2013 Epidemic Hazard USA MultiStates, [States of Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada] Damage level
Details

 

Epidemic Hazard in USA on Saturday, 01 June, 2013 at 09:49 (09:49 AM) UTC.

 

Description
State and federal health officials are investigating an outbreak of hepatitis A in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday approximately 30 cases have been reported. CDC says the cases are “potentially associated” with Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend frozen berries purchased from Costco. In total, seven cases have been confirmed in Arizona. Five of those were in Maricopa County. “At this time, early in the investigation, it appears that there is a low risk in contracting hepatitis A from these berries, however, out of an abundance of caution, it is best to just throw away these berries if they are in your freezer,” said Dr. Bob England, director of Maricopa County Department of Public Health in a release. “If you have already received a hepatitis A vaccine or if you have had hepatitis A in the past, you should have protection from the illness.” Townsend Farms of Fairview, Ore., referred calls to attorney Bill Garr. He didn’t immediately return a message. A Costco spokesman in Issaquah, Wash., says the company has removed the product from stores and is contacting its members.
Biohazard name: Hepatitis A
Biohazard level: 2/4 Medium
Biohazard desc.: Bacteria and viruses that cause only mild disease to humans, or are difficult to contract via aerosol in a lab setting, such as hepatitis A, B, and C, influenza A, Lyme disease, salmonella, mumps, measles, scrapie, dengue fever, and HIV. “Routine diagnostic work with clinical specimens can be done safely at Biosafety Level 2, using Biosafety Level 2 practices and procedures. Research work (including co-cultivation, virus replication studies, or manipulations involving concentrated virus) can be done in a BSL-2 (P2) facility, using BSL-3 practices and procedures. Virus production activities, including virus concentrations, require a BSL-3 (P3) facility and use of BSL-3 practices and procedures”, see Recommended Biosafety Levels for Infectious Agents.
Symptoms:
Status: confirmed

 

Organic Frozen Berries from Costco Leaves 30 People with Hepatitis, 9 in Hospital

 

By HNGN Staff Reporter | Jun 01, 2013 10:48 PM EDT

 

 

Frozen Berries

Hepatitis A outbreak linked to Oregon berry farm, 30 illnesses reported in 5 states (Photo : Creative Commons via Flickr/ J. Chris Vaughan)

 

Organic frozen berries sold at Costco have left 30 people infected with Hepatitis A, and nine of them have been hospitalized, according to reports.

 

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. Officials say they bracing for more reported cases if cafes and restaurants bought the frozen blend to make smoothies, frozen bar drinks and other desserts for customers.

 

At least 30 cases of hepatitis A were reported nationwide, six of which were in California, including patients in San Diego, Orange and Riverside counties.  Illnesses were also reported in Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and Arizona. Health officials warned consumers not to eat Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend frozen berries sold at Costco, which all six California patients ate.

 

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