Health Alert: Hepatitis A Outbreak
Frozen Berry Mix Suspected
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 31, 2013
LAS VEGAS – The Southern Nevada Health District is reporting one case of hepatitis A linked to a multi-state outbreak of hepatitis A being investigated in collaboration with the Nevada State Health Division, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The outbreak is associated with frozen Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend of berries sold at Costco. The health district is reviewing recent reports of hepatitis A it has received to determine if they may be linked to the outbreak and environmental health staff is inspecting additional retail facilities to determine if the product was distributed at additional locations.
For people who have consumed the product within the last 14 days, vaccination against hepatitis A could reduce the chance of developing infection. Those people should consider contacting their health care providers to determine if vaccination against hepatitis A is indicated. It is not recommended that persons who consumed the product more than 14 days ago be vaccinated, although they should seek medical evaluation if they develop signs and symptoms of hepatitis. A person who has been diagnosed with hepatitis A by a physician in the past, or who has received two doses of hepatitis A vaccine, does not need to receive an additional vaccination. Hepatitis A vaccine is also available at the health district’s immunization clinics, call (702) 759-0850, Monday-Friday, for clinic locations and hours of operations, or visit its website at www.SNHD.info. For outbreak information after hours and weekends call the health district’s Office of Epidemiology at (702) 759-1300.
Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus. People usually get the disease from consuming contaminated food items. Early signs of hepatitis A appear two to six weeks after exposure. Symptoms commonly include mild fever, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, pain in the upper right side of the abdomen, dark urine and jaundice (yellow eyes or skin). Most people recover in a week or so, but sometimes hepatitis A can lead to hospitalization and severe illness. It is very important that if you have symptoms like this you seek medical care and do not go to work, especially if you work in food service, health care or child care.
The CDC update on the outbreak is located at this website: http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/Outbreaks/2013/A1b-03-31/index.html
The Southern Nevada Health District serves as the local public health authority for Clark County, Boulder City, Henderson, Las Vegas, Mesquite and North Las Vegas. The agency safeguards the public health of the community’s residents and visitors through innovative programs, regulations, and initiatives focused on protecting and promoting their health and well-being. More information about the Health District, its programs, services, and the regulatory oversight it provides is available at www.SNHD.info.