The nationwide outbreak of hepatitis A in frozen berries. has only spread to one child so far. 79 people in total have contracted the disease as a result of ingesting frozen berries, yet so far it has essentially contained itself to the adult population.
The fact that children have not been impacted in the same way that adults have during this hepatitis A outbreak that has been linked to frozen berries is thought to be because of vaccinations. The Center for Disease Control began to recommend the vaccine for hepatitis a in 2006, making it possible that children are more immune to breakouts than adults. The vaccine is administered twice during childhood, once between the ages of six and 12 months old, and then again six months after the first dose was administered. The vaccine has only been around since 1996.
Since the frozen berries found to be responsible for this outbreak were used to make popsicles and other frozen treats, more children were initially thought to be harmed.
For those of you unsure as to what hepatitis A even is, we will take a step back and explain it. Hepatitis A is an extremely contagious liver infection that is brought on by a virus. Severe cases are uncommon, but can result in liver failure and even the need for a transplant. Most commonly people suffer from fatigue, a fever, nausea and vomiting as a result of contracting the infection.
The vaccine has proven itself to be extremely effective at containing the spread of hepatitis A. Before its development, in 1995 there were nearly 32,000 reported cases of the infection in the United States. According to the Center for Disease Control this number has fallen almost entirely off the map in the present day, with only 1,670 cases reported last year.
The outbreak of hepatitis A has been linked to Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend frozen berry and pomegranate mix, its prevalence in hot weather treats raised concern about how children would be affected. However only one child has come down with the illness, a testament to the positive affect of the vaccine.
Since the link between Townsend Farms and the outbreak has been established, it has been pulled from the shelves of Costco and other retailers that sell it. All 50,000 people who purchased the product from Costco have been contacted by the store and reimbursed for their purchase.
Thankfully children have not been affected by the outbreak of hepatitis A from frozen berries. It is still sad that 79 adults have come down with the liver infection, however it is a positive take away from a sad incident that the vaccine works as it is intended in these situations.
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