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CDPHE News--The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Colorado, and other states are investigating a multistate outbreak of foodborne hepatitis A. Evidence indicates frozen strawberries imported from Egypt are the likely source of this outbreak. The recall affects all frozen strawberries and frozen strawberry products imported into the United States by the International Company for Agricultural Production & Processing (ICAPP) since Jan. 1, 2016. The products were NOT offered for sale in retail stores such as groceries or warehouses.Patrons of some Colorado establishments who recently consumed the recalled frozen strawberry products may have been exposed to hepatitis A. People should contact their health care provider to discuss preventive medication if they ate these products within the past 14 days. A list of establishments known to have served the product during the past 14 days is available on the department website. The list may expand and will be updated if new establishments are identified. There currently are no known Colorado cases associated with this outbreak; however, some people in Colorado may have been served food and drinks containing these products and may have been exposed to hepatitis A. Hepatitis A is a contagious liver infection that results from exposure to the hepatitis A virus. Illness from hepatitis A generally begins around 28 days after exposure (a range of 15–50 days) and symptoms include fatigue, stomach pain, jaundice, dark urine and clay-colored stool. Hepatitis A can range from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious illness lasting several months. In rare cases, the infection can lead to liver failure, particularly in individuals who have a pre-existing liver disease or weakened immune systems.
The best way to prevent hepatitis A is by getting vaccinated. Vaccination for hepatitis A can prevent infection if given before exposure or within 14 days after exposure. If you have consumed products from an establishment known to have served the affected strawberry products, contact your health care provider to discuss your options. Certain pharmacies also may offer hepatitis A vaccine. Visit vaccinefinder.org for locations near you. If you have been vaccinated for hepatitis A, you do not need to be vaccinated again, even if you ate the affected strawberries.
Prevention strategies are not effective after 14 days. People who think they ate the frozen strawberry products more than 14 days ago do not need to seek preventive treatment but should be aware of hepatitis A symptoms and contact their health care provider if they are sick.
For more information, Coloradans may contact COHelp at 1-877-462-2911 or 303-389-1687. COHelp is available 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday - Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. For more information about this outbreak, please see the CDC website. www.colorado.gov/cdphe/cdphenews. In Jefferson County: This is a good reminder to stay current on all your vaccinations. JCPH offers Hep A vaccine at its regularly scheduled clinics. Please call 303-239-7078 to make an appointment.
November 4, 2016
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