Hepatitis A Outbreak Begins: Organic Strawberries at the Source of Contamination in the United States and Canada

Hepatitis A Outbreak Begins: Organic Strawberries at the Source of Contamination in the United States and Canada


About 30 cases were reported in both countries with hospitalizations. The health survey pointed to the fruit as the probable source of the infection.

The investigation is ongoing, but U.S. health officials have been able to trace the path of contamination.

For the past few weeks, one unexpected rise of hepatitis A has been reported in the United States and Canada.

One thirty cases were thus officially registered, and to prevent the spread of the hepatitis A virus, the health authorities took the matter seriously.

Recall that hepatitis A which is one acute infectious disease of the liver is caused by the virus that is transmitted with the feces.

So precarious hygiene conditions are enough for the virus to be transmitted through water, food, hands … contaminated with feces.

Hepatitis A virus transmission can also occur during sexual intercourse in case of oral-anus contact, as reported by Hepatitis Info service.

The cases

Aux United Statesthe FDA said it had identified 17 cases of strawberry-related hepatitis A – 15 in California and one in Minnesota and North Dakota. Twelve people were hospitalized.

Au Canadahealth officials said they had confirmed 10 cases – four in Alberta and six in Saskatchewan. Four people have been hospitalized in the country, according to reports Los Angeles Times.

The FDA, along with CDC, Canadian, state, and local partners are investigating a multistate outbreak of hepatitis A in the US & Canada potentially linked to fresh organic strawberries branded as FreshKampo & HEB, purchased between March 5 & April 25. https://t.co/7eCsxY5Une pic.twitter.com/prtfw9UWQB

– US FDA (@US_FDA) May 28, 2022

Two marks in the sights of the investigators

With this outbreak beginning, health authorities quickly pointed to organic strawberries from the brands FreshKampo and HEB, sold on the shelves of supermarkets between March 5 and April 25could be the cause of these contaminations.

A very useful survey to prevent the spread of the virus and to control it.

Consumers were therefore asked to discard the incriminated strawberries and for those who allegedly ingested them to consult a doctor as soon as possible.

Incubation period and symptoms

Virus infection usually goes unnoticed, it is mostly asymptomatic.

The proportion of forms with symptoms increases with age as does the severity of hepatitis A.

After a incubation for 15 to 50 dayson average 30 days, hepatitis A is manifested by a fever, severe fatigue accompanied by nausea, abdominal pain followed by jaundice.

Jaundice or jaundice is characterized by the yellow coloration of the skin and mucous membranes, which may be visible only at the beginning of the disease, at the level of the whites of the eyes, as reported by the Ministry of Health.

The diagnosis is therefore made mainly by biological examinations.

No treatment but a vaccine

People who have never been infected or vaccinated should be monitored.

There is nono treatment to cure the disease. It is therefore recommended to wash your fruits and vegetables well before eating them even if they come from organic farming.

Even though hepatitis A is cured in a few weeks without treatment, the disease can affect the liver and can be fatal without a transplant.



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