News: Hepatitis A Outbreak in New Mexico

It’s been reported that Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend of Frozen Berries is accidentally helping spread Hepatitis A. The berries are contaminated, and it’s advised that you discard of the product immediately, even if the bag has been in your freezer for months, even years.

The immediate cause for concern was “within 14 days” but that was at the beginning of the month (June).

The New Mexico Department of Health joined forces with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the Food and Drug Administration to try and control the multi-state outbreak. “At least 61 people are sick and 11 have been hospitalized in seven states including New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, California, Utah, and Hawaii. New Mexico has had 4 confirmed cases with one hospitalization. Costco has removed the product from its stores.”

The hepatitis A vaccine is usually dispensed in two doses. If your past vaccination is still valid, you do not need to get another. Anyone who has not had the vaccination, and had the berries within the past two weeks should get the vaccination to try and offset the contamination.

The New Mexico Department of Health is making sure that the vaccination is available to everyone, even those uninsured, at local public health offices.

Hepatitis A is a virus. It attacks the liver usually after being ingested with contaminated food. Symptoms can appear two to six weeks after exposure, to be sure to stay aware of your body. Symptoms include:

  • Mild Fever
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Pain in the Upper Right Side of the Abdomen
  • Dark Urine
  • Jaundice (Yellow Eyes or Skin)

Some can recover from the illness in about a week, while others need to be hospitalized. If you suspect you may have been exposed, do not go into work, do not handle food, and do not care for children. Contact your healthcare representative immediately.

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Any questions about the outbreak can be directed to the FAQ page of the New Mexico Department of Health.

If you still have questions, you can call the Nurse Advice Line at 1-877-725-2552.

Click here for more information about the outbreak and the New Mexico Department of Health.

To see what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has to say about the outbreak, click here.