Published On: Sat, Jun 22nd, 2013

CDC revises reporting criteria for hepatitis A outbreak: Only confirmed cases

The number of cases and states being reported in the multistate hepatitis A outbreak linked to ‘Townsend Farms Organic Anti-oxidant Blend’ has been revised as of June 20, according to new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting criteria.

Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend Image/Townsend Farms press release

Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend Image/Townsend Farms press release

The CDC announced that they will be reporting confirmed cases. Previously, the federal agency had been counting the number of cases under investigation.

Not surprisingly, this has changed total numbers in both number of cases and number of states where confirmed cases have been reported.

As of June 20, 2013, 113 people have been confirmed to have become ill from Hepatitis A after eating ‘Townsend Farms Organic Anti-oxidant Blend’ in 7 states: Arizona (15), California (57), Colorado (23), Hawaii (5), New Mexico (5), Nevada (5), and Utah (3).

On June 18, we reported 118 cases from 8 states. Washington state has been removed from the list.

The CDC reports that 50 people, or 44% of confirmed cases, have required hospitalization for their illness.

On June 19, The Global Dispatch asked the question concerning the percentage of people requiring hospitalization–Is this unusually high?

Noted virologist, Dr. Vincent Racaniello noted in an interview with The Global Dispatch concerning the hospitalization rate, “It might be interesting to know the age breakdown in this outbreak to see if it is skewed toward older people.”

As of that report, the CDC wasn’t releasing age data on the cases; however, in their latest outbreak update they report:

  • Ages range from 2 – 84 years;
    • 69 (61%) of those ill were between 40 – 64 years of age.
    • Currently, 5 children under age 18 have been infected as part of this outbreak; of these, none were hospitalized, and none were previously vaccinated.

On June 3, 2013, Townsend Farms, Inc. of Fairview, Oregon voluntarily recalled certain lots of its frozen Organic Antioxidant Blend because it has the potential to be contaminated with hepatitis A virus.

According to the CDC, Hepatitis A is an acute liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV), lasting from a few weeks to several months. It does not lead to chronic infection.

People can get infected by HAV by ingestion of fecal matter, even in microscopic amounts, from close person-to-person contact or ingestion of contaminated food or drinks.

HAV can be prevented by vaccination.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

Displaying 2 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. Mischa Popoff says:

    The organic industry is regulated by the USDA, not the FDA.
    If the USDA would just do its job, this hepatitis outbreak and others like it could be avoided in the organic sector.

  2. Multistate hepatitis A outbreak climbs to 122 cases - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] to 122 confirmed cases according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today. This is up from 113 confirmed cases reported on June […]

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