The number of hepatitis A cases linked to the consumption of Nanna’s Frozen Mixed Berry in Australia has increased to 13, according to a notice from Prof. Michael Ackland, Deputy Chief Health Officer, Victoria today.
Health officials say the only common link between the cases is consumption of the Nanna’s Frozen Mixed Berry 1kg product – there is no overseas travel or common restaurant exposure.
The Nanna’s Frozen Mixed Berry product is packed in China and distributed in Australia by Patties, based in Bairnsdale. It is distributed mainly to Woolworths, Coles and IGA supermarkets.
Hepatitis A virus infection can take between 15 to 50 days to develop following exposure to the virus.
Hepatitis A virus infection is uncommon, and normally associated with travel to countries affected by endemic hepatitis A. Hepatitis A is spread when traces of faecal matter containing the virus contaminate hands, objects, water or food and is then taken in by mouth.
Illness due to hepatitis A typically causes acute fever, malaise, anorexia, nausea and abdominal discomfort. This can be followed a few days later by dark urine and jaundice. Symptoms usually last several weeks although convalescence may sometimes be prolonged. Severe illness may occasionally occur particularly when hepatitis A infection complicates pre-existing liver disease. Infants and young children infected with hepatitis A virus may have a mild illness with few or no symptoms, with jaundice often being absent.