Sweden/Austria – Hepatitis A outbreak linked to imported frozen strawberries by sequencing, Sweden and Austria, June to September 2018

Eurosurveillance

Hepatitis A virus is an important cause of food-borne diseases and has been associated with several European outbreaks linked to berries [14]. Here, we describe an ongoing outbreak of hepatitis A virus (HAV) in Sweden and Austria and the confirmation of frozen strawberries imported from Poland as the source of infection. The aims are to highlight the importance of sequencing in outbreak investigations and, due to the long shelf-life of the food vehicle, to increase awareness and warnings towards HAV infections related to frozen strawberries in Europe

On 14 June 2018, the Public Health Agency of Sweden (PHAS) received a notification from the Regional Office of Communicable Disease Control and Prevention of a suspected local outbreak of HAV in County A with five cases. An epidemiological investigation was initiated by county A together with PHAS and the National Food Agency (NFA).

Between 11 June and 27 July 2018, 20 confirmed and probable cases were reported from six counties

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