Hong Kong health officials are reporting an unusual number of hepatitis A cases during the first 3 1/2 months of 2015 prompting officials to release a statement.

Hepatitis A Image/CDC
Hepatitis A Image/CDC

To date, the Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) has reported 64 hepatitis A cases. This compares to the average of 44 cases seen in each of the last three full years.

“Hepatitis A is a statutory notifiable infectious disease in Hong Kong. CHP will carry out epidemiological investigations for every cases of hepatitis A in due course to understand whether the patients had consumed high risk-food like shellfish and berries during the incubation period, and will implement appropriate preventive and control measures.

As of April 14, CHP has recorded 64 cases of hepatitis A infection this year, comprising 32 males and 32 females aged 11 to 83. All patients are in stable condition with no death case recorded. Among them, only 19 cases had consumed various types of berries, while only 8 of them had consumed blueberries during the incubation period. Epidemiological investigations so far did not show sufficient evidence of epidemiological linkage between the increase of hepatitis A cases and eating blueberries.”

In 2012, 2013 and 2014, the yearly totals of hepatitis A cases were 43, 44 and 46 cases respectively.