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Hepatitis A Outbreak Linked to Berry Mix

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EUGENE, Ore. — Lane County Public Health is warning of a Hepatitis outbreak.

Nearly 40 cases were reported in the West since April 29 and linked to contaminated food. The contamination is linked to a frozen berry product from Townsend Organic Farms in Fairview, Oregon. The company’s Organic Antioxidant Blend is sold exclusively at Costco stores.

As of Tuesday afternoon, KEZI 9 News learned 605 bags have been sold at the Costco in Eugene–the most sold in any Oregon county.¬†Costco removed the product from shelves last week.

Lane County Public Health says anyone who bought the product should not eat it and throw it away immediately. It also says it’s important for the public to be aware of symptoms if they have already eaten the berries.

“(It’s) a lot like the flu initially. You feel tired. You feel just down. And you can have some nausea, vomiting because it affects your liver. It affects the way you process your food. It can change a couple things in your body,” said Dr. Patrick Luedtke, Public Health Officer.

Dr. Luedtke says it can change the color of your urine and stool yellow. Symptoms won’t show up right away–it usually takes a month. But don’t be alarmed, people affected are usually sick for a week and then get better. The virus is rarely deadly.

Lane County Public Health says so far there have only been two cases of Hepatitis A in 2013 in the county and none so far from this outbreak.

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