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Minnesota reports hepatitis A case connected to organic strawberry outbreak

Department of health leaders urged consumers to check their freezers for FreshKampo and HEB brand strawberries that could be linked to the illness.

US-NEWS-HEPATITIS-A-STRAWBERRIES-DMT
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency are investigating whether two brands of organic strawberries may be to blame for a Hepatitis A outbreak.
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ST. PAUL — Minnesota health officials on Wednesday, June 1, said that a Minnesota resident became ill with hepatitis A after eating contaminated strawberries and they urged others to avoid eating certain organic brands reported to have spurred dozens of additional cases.

Department of health leaders advised consumers against eating fresh or organic strawberries from the FreshKampo or HEB brands purchased between March 5 and April 25 due to their links to hepatitis A infections. Most of the strawberries connected to the outbreak have been removed from shelves but the department urged consumers to throw out strawberries from the two brands if they'd purchased them during the window of time indicated and had frozen them for later use.

Those who may have eaten infected berries should reach out to their health care provider, Minnesota officials said, especially if they develop symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, jaundice, darker-colored urine or clay-colored stools. Symptoms of hepatitis A typically lag eating or drinking contaminated food or drinks by 15 to 50 days.

A Minnesota resident was infected with hepatitis A after purchasing and eating berries from Mississippi Market under the FreshKampo brand on March 21, they said. That individual did not require hospitalization and has since recovered from the illness.

There have been 17 infections reported in the United States stemming from the contaminated berries: one in Minnesota, one in North Dakota and 15 in California, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. Meanwhile, Canada has tracked almost 30 cases connected to the outbreak.

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Vaccination against hepatitis A can help prevent infections, according to the state department of health, and it is recommended beginning at 1 year of age.

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Follow Dana Ferguson on Twitter  @bydanaferguson , call 651-290-0707 or email  dferguson@forumcomm.com.

Related Topics: HEALTHPRODUCT RECALL
Dana Ferguson is a Minnesota Capitol Correspondent for Forum News Service. Ferguson has covered state government and political stories since she joined the news service in 2018, reporting on the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the divided Statehouse and the 2020 election.
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