605 bags of berries linked to Hep A outbreak sold in Lane County

605 bags of berries linked to Hep A outbreak sold in Lane County

EUGENE, Ore. - Hundreds of bags of berries linked to an outbreak of Hepatitis A were sold in Lane County.

Lane County Public Health said 605 bags of the berries linked to the outbreak were sold here. That figure is up from 75 reported earlier after Costco reviewed 3 weeks worth of receipts, said Jason Davis with the county.

“Townsend Organic Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend” frozen berries were sold exclusively at Costco stores. The bags were blended and packaged in Fairview, Oregon.

Nearly 40 cases of Hepatitis A cases in western states with onsets since April 29 have been linked to consumption of the product.

To date, no human cases have been confirmed in Oregon, but counties are getting reports of illness that deserve follow-up, the county said.

The product is a blend of frozen cherries, blueberries, pomegranate seeds, raspberries, and strawberries, commonly used to make smoothies.

Lane County Public Health recommends anyone who consumed these berries within the past 14 days consult their health care provider.

Hepatitis A is an acute infectious disease of the liver caused by the Hepatitis A virus. It is usually spread by the fecal-oral route via ingestion of contaminated food or water but can also be spread through direct contact with an infectious person. The time between infection and the appearance of the symptoms is between two and six weeks with an average incubation period of 28 days.

Early symptoms of hepatitis A infection can be mistaken for influenza, but some sufferers, especially children, exhibit no symptoms at all.

Symptoms usually last less than 2 months, although some people can be ill for as long as 6 months. 

Symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Appetite loss
  • Jaundice, a yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes
  • Dark amber colored urine
  • Clay-colored feces