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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

ITALY: Italy Reports 352 Cases of Hepatitis A Linked to Frozen Berries (07.08.2013)

Italy has recorded 352 cases of hepatitis A virus (HAV) from January through May of this year, demonstrating a 70-percent increase in reported cases from 2012. Preliminary epidemiological investigations showed that eating frozen mixed berries containing red currants, blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries may have caused the infection. The genotype and sequence of HAV found in a sample of frozen mixed berries in Italy, however, was different than that found in recent US or Nordic outbreaks. Seven sequences of HAV genotype 1A isolated in cases in the Netherlands, Germany, and Italy showed a 100-percent similarity. Despite efforts to identify and recall contaminated berry shipments, officials expect more cases due to the long incubation period of HAV (28–30 days; range: 15–50 days), notification delays, and the long shelf-life of frozen berries.


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Information in this article was accurate in July 9, 2013. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.