CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News UpdateUNITED STATES: Costco Offering Free Hepatitis Vaccines to Customers Who Purchased Recalled Berries
By Chris Morran
June 10, 2013
A berry mix sold at Costco stores has caused a hepatitis A outbreak in several states. Costco advised those exposed to hepatitis A to get vaccinated within 14 days of contacting the tainted product. Costco stated that they will reimburse the cost of the vaccine if persons get vaccinated in Costco pharmacies. The outbreak has occurred in five states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico. CDC stated that this hepatitis A strain now is appearing in Utah and Hawaii. So far, more than 60 people have become ill due to the tainted berries, with nearly 12 of them hospitalized. The outbreak has not yet caused any fatalities. A California woman, who became ill on May 22 after eating the eventually recalled product, filed suit against Costco and Townsend Farms, the company that produced the berry blend. She was in guarded condition at a hospital in Long Beach, Calif. ABC News reported that pomegranate seeds from Turkey may have tainted the entire berry batch.