While an investigation into the multistate hepatitis A outbreak is underway, the North Dakota Department of Health is warning that if you froze certain strawberries linked to the cases to throw them away.
Hepatitis A cases across the United States, including one in North Dakota, are linked to fresh, organic strawberries from FreshKampo and HEB that were purchased between March 5 and April 25.
The affected strawberries are past their shelf life, but if you froze them, throw them away immediately, Immunization Director Molly Howell warned.
The strawberries were sold at the following retailers, including, but not limited to:
- Sprouts Farmers Market
- Trader Joe’s
- Weis Markets
- WinCo Foods
If you ate these strawberries in the last two weeks and haven’t been vaccinated against hepatitis A, the Department of Health says you should contact your doctor to see if post-exposure prophylaxis is needed — which is recommended for unvaccinated people who have been exposed to hepatitis A in the last two weeks.
What is hepatitis A?
According to the Department of Health, hepatitis A is an infection of the liver caused by the hepatitis A virus. Adults and teens are more likely to have symptoms compared to children.
What are hepatitis A symptoms?
Symptoms may include fever, tiredness, loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal discomfort, dark urine, pale stools or jaundice (which is yellowing of skin or whites of eyes). Children younger than 6 often have few or no symptoms.
Hepatitis A symptoms generally last less than two months. It can take from 15 to 50 days to get sick after being exposed to the hepatitis A virus. The average is about one month.
A person infected with hepatitis A is most likely to spread the disease during the two weeks before symptoms begin. Most people stop being contagious one week after their symptoms start.
The person who was hospitalized in North Dakota has since recovered.
To report cases of hepatitis, call 701-328-2378 or 1-800-472-2180.