Hep A Outbreak in 3 States Tied to Blackberries

Nov. 22, 2019 -- An outbreak of hepatitis A that's sickened 11 people in Indiana, Nebraska, and Wisconsin may be linked to fresh non-organic blackberries sold at Fresh Thyme Farmers Market grocery stores in the three states, U.S. health officials say.

The last person to become sick with the contagious virus that can cause liver disease was Nov. 5, 2019. Six people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

Investigators have determined that the berries came from a distribution center that ships fresh berries to Fresh Thyme Farmers Market stores in 11 states: IA, IL, IN, KY, MI, MO, MN, NE, OH, PA, and WI.

Consumers should not eat any fresh non-organic blackberries bought between Sept.9-30, 2019, from Fresh Thyme Farmers Market stores in those 11 states, the FDA said. That includes berries that were frozen for later use.

People who bought fresh non-organic blackberries from Fresh Thyme Farmers Market stores in the 11 states between September 9-30, ate those berries in the last two weeks, and have not been vaccinated for the hepatitis A virus (HAV), should talk with their healthcare provider to determine whether they require post exposure prophylaxis (PEP), the FDA said.

PEP is recommended for unvaccinated people who have been exposed to HAV in the last two weeks. Those with evidence of previous hepatitis A vaccination or previous hepatitis A infection do not require PEP.

Contact your healthcare provider if you think you may have become ill from eating these blackberries, or if you believe that you have eaten these berries in the last two weeks, the FDA said.

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