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Hepatitis Blog

Surveillance & Analysis on Hepatitis News & Outbreaks

Nanna’s Frozen Mixed Berry Recalled in Australia Due to Hepatitis A

Victoria’s health department has urged consumers to dispose of 1kg packets of Nanna’s Frozen Mixed Berry, which are sold in major supermarkets including Woolworths, Coles and IGA stores.

Nanna’s Frozen Mixed Berry 1kg packets shouldn’t be eaten if they have a best before date up to and including November 22, 2016.

Four adults, three in Victoria and one in NSW, have contracted potentially deadly Hepatitis A after consuming the imported fruit.

The health department has also told the company to recall the product, which is distributed by Patties in Victoria, but packed in China.

It contains strawberries, raspberries and blackberries from China and blueberries from Chile.

Hepatitis A is spread when traces of faecal matter containing the virus comes in contact with hands, water or food, and then enters a person’s mouth.

Another Hepatitis A Illness Linked to Rosa’s Restaurant

Another Hepatitis A case is being reported by a person who ate at the same restaurant in Hamilton Township.

Robbinsville Township health officials say the resident ate at Rosa’s Restaurant on 3442 South Broad Street during the time when a food handler reported having Hepatitis A.

The patient works in Hamilton Township. However, health officials say coworkers at the job only have a negligible risk.

The first case of Hepatitis A was confirmed last month in a worker at Rosa’s. In light of that, the township hosted a vaccination clinic at a local firehouse.

Then last week health officials announced two additional cases – a 53-year-old hair dresser and a 60-year-old part-time fitness instructor.

Both women reportedly thought they had the flu before they were diagnosed with Hepatitis A.

All three patients ate at Rosa’s in November while the employee worked there, but health officials say they can’t definitively link the new cases to the first.

Hepatitis A is spread through oral fecal transmission. It’s rarely fatal, but it is highly contagious, and symptoms can appear 2 to 6 weeks after exposure.

Hepatitis A Cases Linked in New Jersey Restaurant

On Thursday, health officials in Hamilton, NJ, confirmed two more cases of Hepatitis A in the township about a month after a food service worker at Rosa’s Restaurant and Catering in Hamilton first became infected with the virus.

Health officials said that an employee of the Hair Port Salon in Hamilton had been diagnosed with Hepatitis A infection. The employee has been released from the hospital and is recovering at home, they added.

Staff and customers who visited the salon between Dec. 4 and Dec. 30 may be at risk of contracting the virus and should be vaccinated if they have not already done so, officials said.

Hepatitis A was also confirmed Thursday in a fitness instructor at a Hamilton-area YMCA. The instructor is recovering at home, official said.

Anyone who visited any of those locations between Dec. 5 and Dec. 29 may be at risk.

Officials confirmed during routine questioning that both individuals had eaten at, or from, Rosa’s during the first illnesses, but they were not certain that the subsequent cases were related.

Hamilton NJ Misses Hepatitis A Outbreak

More than four weeks after a food service employee at a popular Hamilton restaurant was diagnosed with hepatitis A, no additional cases have emerged and the possible incubation period is nearly over, health officials said Friday.

Township health officer Jeff Plunkett said there were a few suspected cases including one false positive test, but none were confirmed following the initial infection of a worker for Rosa’s Restaurant and Catering on South Broad Street.

“It was intense there for a period of a week or 10 days, but everybody was extremely cooperative,” Plunkett said Friday. “Due to the fact that word got out so quickly, so many people were vaccinated and inoculated not just by our office but — if you speak to the pharmacies around town — they had multiple reorders of hepatitis A vaccines.”

Township officials announced the infection of the Rosa’s employee on Dec. 1 and recommended that anyone who ate food from the restaurant between Nov. 10 and Dec. 1 be vaccinated for hepatitis A.

Hamilton New Jersey Rosa’s Restaurant Hepatitis A Scare

Cristina Rojas reports that a confirmed case of hepatitis A has been traced to a food worker employed at Rosa’s Restaurant and Catering in Hamilton, officials said late Monday.

Health officials warned that anyone who ate at or catered from the restaurant between Nov. 10 and Monday may be at risk for developing Hepatitis A if they have not been previously vaccinated.

Unvaccinated individuals who ate there should receive an injection of immune globulin or hepatitis A vaccine. Both can prevent an infection if given within 14 days of exposure.

Officials urged anyone who ate at the restaurant who develops symptoms to call a doctor. The symptoms include mild fever, loss of appetite, nausea, fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and dark urine and jaundice.

The disease varies in severity, with mild cases lasting two weeks or less and more severe cases lasting four to six weeks.

Red Robin Restaurant Hepatitis A Exposure Class Action lawsuit – Missouri (2014)

Springfield Missouri Health officials administered more than 5,000 doses of the hepatitis A vaccine.

On May 20, 2014, health department officials learned of a food service worker at the Red Robin restaurant who had tested positive for Hepatitis A. Individuals potentially exposed to the Hepatitis A virus dined at the restaurant between May 8 and 16.

Marler Clark filed a class action lawsuit against Red Robin restaurant.  The lawsuit was filed on behalf of restaurant patrons who received hepatitis A vaccinations after alleged exposure to the hepatitis A virus at the restaurant between May 8 and 16, 2013.

Hepatitis A:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Hepatitis A outbreaks. The Hepatitis A lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Hepatitis A and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $600 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Hepatitis A lawyers have litigated Hepatitis A cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of sources, such as green onions, lettuce and restaurant food.  The law firm has brought Hepatitis A lawsuits against such companies as Subway, McDonald’s, Chipotle, Quiznos and Carl’s Jr.

If you or a family member became ill with a Hepatitis A infection after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Hepatitis A attorneys for a free case evaluation.

Hepatitis A Cluster in Alabama

The Alabama Department of Public Health is investigating three cases of hepatitis A in Clarke County in southwest Alabama.

The department says two of the cases involve people who have a history of international travel.

The health department says signs of hepatitis A appear 15 to 50 days after exposure and commonly include mild fever, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and tiredness. The disease varies in severity from about two weeks to six weeks or more.

The department says casual contact, such as at an office or school, does not transmit the virus. The risk increases when people are in contact in a household or have sexual contact. The department says frequent hand washing with warm water and soap for 20 seconds will help stop the spread of the virus.

165 Sick with Hepatitis A Linked to Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend

165 people were confirmed to have become ill from hepatitis A after eating ‘Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend’ in 10 states: Arizona (24), California (80), Colorado (29), Hawaii (8), New Hampshire (1), New Jersey (1), New Mexico (11), Nevada (6), Utah (3), and Wisconsin (2). [Note: The cases reported from Wisconsin resulted from exposure to the product in California, the cases reported from New Hampshire reported fruit exposure during travel to Nevada, and the case reported in New Jersey was a household contact of a confirmed case from Colorado.] Eight of the confirmed cases were household contacts of confirmed cases (secondary cases).

The major outbreak strain of hepatitis A virus, belonging to genotype 1B, was found in clinical specimens of 117 ill persons. This genotype is rarely seen in the Americas but circulates in North Africa and the Middle East.

By combining information gained from FDA’s traceback and traceforward investigations and the CDC’s epidemiological investigation, FDA and CDC have determined that the most likely vehicle for the hepatitis A virus appears to be a common shipment of pomegranate seeds from a company in Turkey, Goknur Foodstuffs Import Export Trading.

Whataburger Linked to Hepatitis A Scare

Austin Texas health officials are alerting the public about possible hepatitis A exposure at a Whataburger in Central Austin. A restaurant employee there at the 2800 Guadalupe St. location has been diagnosed with the hepatitis A virus. Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that is usually spread when a person ingests something that has been contaminated with the feces of an infected person, including contaminated food or water.

Signs and symptoms of hepatitis A can include the following

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Dark urine
  • Clay-colored bowel movement
  • Joint pain
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)

Signs and symptoms usually appear two- to four weeks after exposure, although they may happen up to two- to seven weeks after exposure. Children under 6 years of age with hepatitis A often do not have, or show few, signs and symptoms. Children, however, are least likely to get sick because they are typically immunized.

While health officials say transmission of the infection to customers is not likely, the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department is recommending people contact their doctor if they ate at that specific Whataburger between August 7 and Tuesday and fit the following criteria:

  • are 75 years old or older
  • are immune-compromised
  • have chronic liver disease or have had a liver transplant
  • have clotting-factor disorders
  • are experiencing hepatitis A symptoms

If you do not fall into these risk categories but are still worried or are needing more guidance, officials say you should visit your doctor or call the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department at 512-972-4372.

Signs and symptoms usually appear two- to four weeks after exposure, although they may happen up to two- to seven weeks after exposure. Children under 6 years of age with hepatitis A often do not have, or show few, signs and symptoms. Children, however, are least likely to get sick because they are typically immunized.

Another Reason for Hepatitis A Vaccines – Your Restaurant Remains Closed

Tortilla Marissa’s, a Mexican restaurant in Fort Collins, CO, will not reopen until August 9 because of the Hepatitis A scare that the restaurant faced at the end of June, according to the Coloradoan.

The Larimer County Health Department has advised the owners to keep the restaurant closed that long due to the virus’ relatively long incubation period, which averages 28 days but can last up to 50 days in some cases.

The restaurant originally closed on June 27, a day after an employee tested positive for the virus, which has a high risk of being spread when an infected person handles food. In total, the restaurant will be closed 43 days.

The only way the owners could legally open before that would be to hire an entirely new staff.

The county health department administered roughly 800 vaccines to restaurant patrons following the incident, but many did not opt to receive a vaccine. No other cases of Hepatitis A have been reported in connection to Tortilla Marissa’s.

The restaurant received an “inadequate” rating after an inspection in late May, a month before the incident. In two follow-up inspections, the restaurant earned “good” and “excellent” ratings.

The owners say that the closure time will allow them to address the remaining concerns presented by the inspections.