87 now sick with Hepatitis A after eating frozen berry mix

By CAROLINE LEE, UPI.com   |   June 11, 2013 at 3:32 PM   |   Comments

June 11 (UPI) -- At least 87 people have been diagnosed with hepatitis A linked to a contaminated frozen berry mix. 36 of those infected have been hospitalized.

The berry mix was sold in Costco and Harris Teeter stores across the country, but all of the cases have been tied to bags purchased at Costco.

Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend berry mix is tied to 70 percent of the cases. The company issued a recall for the product on June 3. As word of the illness spreads, more victims are expected to come forward.

Those infected range from ages 2 to 84 and live in Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Washington.

Those who have already consumed the mix but are not ill are advised to get a hepatitis A vaccine to prevent future infection. Shots must be administered within two weeks of eating the contaminated food to be effective in prevention.

Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver that causes fatigue, nausea, vomiting, low fever and yellowing of the eyes and skin. It is spread when human feces contaminates food, or when a food handler with the infection handles food without proper hand hygiene.

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