In a follow-up to the Australia hepatitis A outbreak linked to Nanna’s frozen berries, South Australia health has reported their first case, bringing the total tally nationwide to 20.
To date cases have been reported from Victoria (3), Queensland (7), New South Wales (7) and one each in Western Australia, SA and the ACT.
Professor Paddy Phillips, SA Health’s Chief Medical Officer, said the 54 year old woman from country South Australia had been admitted to the Royal Adelaide Hospital and was currently in a stable condition.
“This is the first case of hepatitis A in South Australia that can be linked to the recalled frozen berry products,” Professor Phillips said.
“The patient saw her doctor on the 15th February when she began displaying symptoms and a positive blood test for hepatitis A was returned on 24th February.
“SA Health then began the process of investigating how the illness was contracted and the patient confirmed she ate Nanna’s frozen mixed berries over the Christmas and New Year period.
“There is no risk of infection to the wider community, but as a precaution, we’ve arranged for four of the patient’s close contacts to receive a preventative vaccination.
“If anyone has eaten the frozen berry products it’s important they are aware of the symptoms of hepatitis A and contact their doctor if any develop.”
Professor Phillips said there had been four cases of hepatitis A in South Australia for the year, but this was the first associated with frozen berries.
Earlier this week, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott backed plans on Thursday to introduce country-of-origin labeling in the wake of a hepatitis A outbreak. He asked members of his Cabinet to draft legislation by the end of March to provide greater transparency to consumers.