Dozens of confirmed cases on the mainland

By Lara Yamada
Published On: Jun 02 2013 09:41:16 PM HST
Updated On: Jun 03 2013 06:22:27 AM HST

A dangerous outbreak of Hepatitis-A from a berry mix sold at Costco has now reached Hawaii. The Department of Health has confirmed two cases on the islands and as a result, Costco is recalling the berry mix.

HONOLULU -

Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxidant Berry Blend is being pulled off Costco shelves.

The company has been selling the frozen berry mix nationwide and in the islands.

The Food and Drug administration has linked more than 30 cases of the contagious liver disease Hepatitis-A to the berry mix in several states including: Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, California and Hawaii.

On Sunday, a health department spokesperson confirmed two cases in Hawaii: one on Oahu and one on Kauai -- both said they ate the berry mix then noticed symptoms.

The contagious liver disease can take 30 days to show symptoms.

Many of the cases came from Southern California, where shoppers were surprised to learn what they were putting in their shopping carts.

"My god. That's really shocking," said one shopper.

Costco Hawaii started pulling the product on May 29th.

It's been on store shelves since late February.

"We just used it a couple of weeks ago at a big family breakfast," said another shopper.

Townsend Farms is based in Oregon, but investigators believe pomegranate seeds in the mix from Turkey are the culprit.

Doctors warn anyone exposed should be vaccinated quickly.

As of Sunday, nine people linked to the outbreak had been hospitalized with Hepatitis A.

"It's only a two week period, so every day people have been exposed to this and they delay, they could be missing a chance to prevent this," said Dr. Jeff Gunzenhauser, Los Angeles County Health Dept.

Signs and symptoms of Hepatitis-A typically don't appear until you've had the virus for a few weeks. Watch out for:

--Muscle Pain
--Nausea and Vomiting
--Dark Urine
--Yellowing of the skin and eyes
--Abdominal pain, especially on your right side beneath your ribs, where your liver is.

Symptoms usually last less than two months -- but may last as long as six months.

Investigators expect the number of cases to rise.
 

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