Minnesota officials confirm source of hepatitis A outbreak

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St Paul (KROC AM News) – Minnesota officials are warning consumers to avoid eating fresh, organic strawberries from two brands after linking hepatitis A disease to these strawberries.

The Minnesota Department of Health, California Department of Public Health, and Minnesota Department of Agriculture are working with federal officials and public health agencies in other states and Canada to investigate diseases in the hepatitis A associated with the consumption of strawberries labeled as FreshKampo and HEB and purchased between March 5, 2022 and April 25, 2022.

A case associated with this outbreak has been identified in Minnesota. The person was not hospitalized and has since recovered. The person fell ill after eating strawberries purchased at the Mississippi market on March 21, 2022. The strawberries were labeled as FreshKampo.

Contact your health care provider if you think you got sick from eating these strawberries. Symptoms of hepatitis A include vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice), and dark urine and clay-colored stools. Symptoms usually appear 15 to 50 days after eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

Although the affected fresh strawberries are no longer in store, it is possible that consumers have frozen their strawberries and have this product stored in freezers. With that in mind, authorities are urging consumers to check their freezers and discard strawberries from these brands. Consumers can ask their local markets if they sold that specific brand of strawberries. To prevent contamination or transmission of hepatitis A, consumers should always follow safe food handling and preparation practices.

Vaccination is the most effective way to prevent hepatitis A. Vaccination is recommended for all children from the age of 1, for travelers to certain countries and for people at high risk of infection. Although hepatitis A vaccination has been recommended for children since 2006, many adults have not been vaccinated against hepatitis A. Anyone who wants to be protected against hepatitis A can speak to their healthcare provider the possibility of being vaccinated.

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