At least 151 people are now known to have been sickened by hepatitis A linked to frozen pomegranate seeds since March of this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Monday.
The numbers of illnesses by state are as follows: Arizona (22), California (74), Colorado (27), Hawaii (8), New Mexico (9), Nevada (6), Utah (3), and Wisconsin (2). The two cases reported in Wisconsin arose from exposure to the contaminated product in California.
The imported frozen pomegranate seeds — sourced from Turkey — that are thought to be the outbreak source were sold in a frozen berry mix distributed by Townsend Farms of Fairview, OR and sold at Costco and Harris Teeter stores, and were distributed as frozen pomegranate kernels by Scenic Fruit of Gresham, OR. Only customers who purchased the seeds in the mixed berry product at Costco — which sold it in Western states — have reported illness to date.
Of those sickened, 85 (56 percent) are women. Patients range in age from 1 to 84 years old; 10 of those sickened were under age 18. None of the under-18 patients were among the 66 people hospitalized as a result of their infections.
Illness onset dates range from March 31, 2013 through July 9, 2013.
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