Published On: Fri, Jul 5th, 2013

Multistate hepatitis A outbreak climbs to 140 confirmed cases

The latest update to the hepatitis A outbreak in several western US states was issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on July 5.

Hepatitis A outbreak map Image/CDC

Hepatitis A outbreak map

According to the federal health agency, as of July 3, 2013, 140 people have been confirmed to have become ill from hepatitis A after eating ‘Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend’ in 8 states: Arizona (20), California (69), Colorado (26), Hawaii (8), New Mexico (6), Nevada (6), Utah (3), and Wisconsin (2).

Health officials note that the cases reported from Wisconsin resulted from exposure to the product in California.

Nearly 60 percent of confirmed cases were between 40 – 64 years of age.

The laboratory investigation into the outbreak revealed the outbreak strain of hepatitis A virus, belonging to genotype 1B, was found in clinical specimens of 56 people in seven states: AZ (6), CA (15), CO (22), HI (4), NM (4), NV (4) and WI (1; the person was exposed in California). This genotype is rarely seen in the Americas but circulates in North Africa and the Middle East.

On June 29, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced they would detain shipments of pomegranate seeds from Goknur Gida Maddeleri Ithalat Ihracat Tic [Goknur Foodstuffs Import Export Trading] of Turkey when they are offered for import into the United States.

This action results from an investigation by the FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state and local health authorities into a multi-state outbreak of Hepatitis A illnesses associated with Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend, a frozen food blend containing pomegranate seed mix.

Based on information gained from the FDA’s traceback and traceforward investigations and the CDC’s epidemiological investigation, the 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 Goknur used by Townsend Farms to make the Townsend Farms and Harris Teeter Organic Antioxidant Blends that were recalled in June.

These seeds were also used by Scenic Fruit Company to make their recently recalled Woodstock Frozen Organic Pomegranate Kernels.

The CDC says consumers should not eat recalled products containing pomegranate seeds. The recalled products should be discarded.

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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

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  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. Philippines: Dengue fever surges in the Visayas - The Global Dispatch | Everyday Worldwide says:

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