Third Bay Area Hepatitis A case linked to Costco frozen berry product

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A Hepatitis A case linked to a recalled frozen berry product has been reported in Santa Clara County and is at least the third case from the tainted berries in the Bay Area, public health officials said.

The 22-year-old woman who fell ill was hospitalized in late May but was released and is recovering, Santa Clara Public Health Department spokeswoman Amy Cornell said.

The Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend of frozen berries sold at Costco Wholesale warehouses has been linked to cases spanning multiple states, Cornell said.

The product has since been recalled but may be sold at other stores. Costco is warning anyone who purchased the product since late February not to eat them. The blend includes frozen cherries, pomegranate arils, strawberries, red raspberries and blueberries.

An ongoing investigation is being conducted by state health departments, the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As of Monday there have been over 30 Hepatitis A cases connected with the fruit blend in five states including California.

An east Contra Costa County woman was hospitalized for Hepatitis A last month in connection to the frozen berry blend, Contra Costa Health Services spokeswoman Kate Fowlie said.

The 62-year-old woman was hospitalized last month and has since recovered, Fowlie said.

Alameda County also confirmed one case of Hepatitis A linked to the frozen berry product, according to the Alameda County Public Health Department. That individual was hospitalized, treated and released.

A Costco Wholesale warehouse at 300 Vintage Way in Novato sold 3,000 bags of the product from mid-February through late May, according to the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services.

Hepatitis A symptoms can appear two and six weeks after consumption and can include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, joint pain, pale stool and jaundice.

Anyone who has recently purchased the product is advised to dispose of it, according to county health departments.

People who have consumed the product in the past two weeks should consult their health care provider and monitor their condition, San Francisco Health Officer Tomas Aragon said.

Those who have been fully vaccinated for Hepatitis A are immune from contracting the disease, according to the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

(Copyright 2013 Bay City News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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