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Costco Townsend Farms' frozen berries linked to Hepatitis A outbreak

Editor's note: information below is from a press release circulated by SJC Health & Community Services:

Have you purchased or eaten Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend of frozen berries with Pomegranates since April?

Costco has sold over 1,800 units of frozen berries at nearby stores over the last four weeks. This product is linked to 30 cases of Hepatitis A in a multi-state outbreak. Currently, no cases have been reported in Washington state or San Juan County, but we are early in the outbreak.

The Washington State Department of Health advises strongly against eating these berries. Even if some of the product has been eaten without anyone in your family becoming ill, the rest of the product should be discarded.

If you have consumed this product in the last two weeks and have never been vaccinated for hepatitis A or had the disease, contact your health care provider or San Juan County Health Department at 378-4474. You may need to be vaccinated or receive other treatment.

If you have already received the hepatitis A vaccination or had hepatitis A in the past, you are unlikely to become ill with the disease. If you have eaten these berries and develop yellow eyes or skin, abdominal pain, diarrhea, pale stools, or dark urine, contact your health care provider right away.

Symptoms can appear up to seven weeks from the time of exposure.

Regardless if you have had a hepatitis A shot, if you have consumed this product be sure to wash hands thoroughly after using the toilet and don’t prepare food for others if you have diarrhea.

Monitor your health for any symptoms of illness and see a health care provider for an evaluation if you become lethargic with nausea or vomiting or diarrhea. Follow this advice even if you get the vaccine in time.

The latest information about the national hepatitis A outbreak is available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. The state Department of Health website (www.doh.wa.gov) is your source for a healthy dose of information.

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