Hepatitis A Outbreak in the US, Canada Possibly Linked to Strawberries  

A hepatitis A outbreak that is potentially connected to organic strawberries purchased in March and April has been investigated by several health agencies in the United States and Canada after more than a dozen reported cases.

The US Food and Drug Administration has initiated an investigation of the multistate hepatitis A outbreak and concluded based on a traceback data that it is linked to organic strawberries of FreshKampo and HEB brands purchased between March 5, 2022, and April 25, 2022, in the US and Canada and sold at major grocery stores and chains including Aldi, Kroger, Safeway, Sprouts Farmers Market, Trader Joe’s, and Walmart.

Epidemiologists warned consumers against eating strawberry brands FreshKampo and HEB while the FDA, CDC as well as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and the Public Health Agency of Canada are investigating the infections along with state and local partners.

According to the FDA, a total of 17 cases were reported in the US, mostly in California, with 12 hospitalizations.

The FDA warned that while the strawberries are now past their shelf life, there are people who may have frozen the fruit and warned them they should throw them away and encouraged consumers to seek medical attention if they think they have hepatitis A symptoms that can include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, and other typical issues after eating contaminated food.

Apart from the US-Canada outbreak, the World Health Organization (WHO) says there’s also a global pediatric hepatitis outbreak with 650 cases of severe hepatitis reported in 33 countries between April 5 and May 26.

As a result, the CDC has issued new guidance about testing for adenovirus in children as a possible reason for the pediatric outbreak.

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