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CDC: 100% of those sickened with hepatitis A ate blackberries from Fresh Thyme, Woodman’s

Blackberries

ATLANTA — Federal health officials said a hepatitis A outbreak possibly linked to blackberries sold at Fresh Thyme Farmers Market may also be linked to Woodman’s Market.

The CDC and FDA are investigating the outbreak potentially linked to blackberries purchased between Sept. 9 and Sept. 30 from these two Midwest retailers.

As of Tuesday, Dec. 10, the CDC reported 18 outbreak-associated cases of hepatitis A in six states, including Wisconsin.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from Oct. 8 through Nov. 15. CDC officials said 10 people had been hospitalized as of Dec. 10. No deaths had been reported.

In interviews, 100% of the ill reported eating fresh blackberries, and 16 purchased them from either Fresh Thyme or Woodman’s.

If you purchased fresh blackberries from Fresh Thyme or Woodman’s between Sept. 9 and 30, you should check your freezer for these blackberries. If you froze them to eat later, do not eat them. Throw away any remaining blackberries.

If you have eaten these blackberries, purchased fresh and later frozen, within the last 14 days and are not vaccinated against hepatitis A, contact your local health department or healthcare provider to discuss getting postexposure prophylaxis (hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin). Getting postexposure prophylaxis within 14 days of exposure can help prevent illness.

CDC officials noted efforts to identify suppliers of the blackberries causing the illness is ongoing.

Hepatitis A is a contagious liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus. The hepatitis A virus is found in the stool and blood of people who are infected. The hepatitis A virus is spread when someone ingests the virus, usually through close personal contact with an infected person or from eating contaminated food or drink. Hepatitis A can be prevented with a vaccine, which is recommended for all children at age one and adults at risk.

CLICK HERE for more about this outbreak, and symptoms of hepatitis A via the CDC.

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