New Zealand – Hepatitis A Outbreak linked to frozen berries jumps to 18.

Food Poison Journal

The Ministry of Health said on Thursday afternoon that the number of confirmed cases linked to the outbreak had grown to 18 in total. Of these, nine (50%) have been hospitalized.

As of Thursday, 14 of the 18 cases have been sequenced to date – all 14 have an identical sequence profile, indicating they likely came from the same source.

Hepatitis A is spread by contact with feces of an infected person. It can be passed on through poor personal hygiene (such as when people don’t wash their hands properly), contaminated food and close personal contact.

All 18 cases reported “significant” consumption of uncooked, imported frozen berries.

Food safety officials have advised that Pams – a New Zealand division of supermarket giant Foodstuffs – was recalling various imported frozen berry products as a precaution, over a possible link to recent cases of the contagious virus in fruit from Serbia.

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