Two more patients have been confirmed and a second retailer has been named in relation to an outbreak of hepatitis A, that has been associated with fresh blackberries.
The implicated blackberries, sold by Fresh Thyme Farmers Market grocery stores, were also sold at Woodman’s Market, according to an update today from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The agency is still urging the public to check for the fresh berries, which were sold in September but may have been frozen for later use by some consumers.
The most recent symptom onset date is Nov. 15. As of Tuesday, the FDA is reporting a total of 18 people confirmed in the outbreak. It is likely more patients will be identified because it can take 50 days or more after exposure for symptoms to develop. Six states are reporting confirmed patients. Those states are Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and Wisconsin.
“Based on the epidemiological information collected in the investigation thus far, ill patients reported consuming fresh, conventional blackberries bought in six states including Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. Case patients reported buying them from either Fresh Thyme Farmers Market or Woodman’s Market,” according to an FDA update.
If consumers bought fresh conventional blackberries from Woodman’s Market or at any Fresh Thyme Farmers Market stores in the 11 states listed above between Sept. 9-30, ate those berries in the last two weeks, and have not been vaccinated for the hepatitis A virus (HAV), they should consult with their healthcare professional to determine whether post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is indicated,” the FDA update says.