The European Food Safety Authority has reported that since January 1, 2013, 15 laboratory-confirmed cases of hepatitis A virus infection have been reported in Germany, the Netherlands and Poland. All cases have a history of travel to the autonomous provinces of Trento and Bolzano in northern Italy during the exposure period. During the same period, Italy experienced an increase in cases of hepatitis A infection, both in province of Trento and at national level. In the first six months of 2013, Italy reported more than 200 cases in excess of the mean number of cases reported in the same period for the last three years. This increase in cases is likely to be associated with this outbreak. Finally, three Irish cases whose isolates share a sequence identical to that in the Italian outbreak but without any history of travel to Italy, nor contact with other hepatitis A cases, had onset of illness in April 2013 in Ireland. As the exposure of the cases occurred in Italy and Ireland, this suggests that cases have been exposed to the same contaminated vehicle of infection distributed in at least these two countries.
Epidemiological, microbiological and environmental investigations indicate mixed frozen berries as the most likely vehicle of infection for these outbreaks.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that as of July 11, 2013, 145 people have been confirmed to have become ill from hepatitis A after eating ‘Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend’ mixed berries in 8 states: Arizona (21), California (70), Colorado (28), Hawaii (8), New Mexico (7), Nevada (6), Utah (3), and Wisconsin (2). The outbreak strain of hepatitis A virus, belonging to genotype 1B, was found in clinical specimens of 56 people in seven states. This genotype is rarely seen in the Americas but circulates in North Africa and the Middle East. This genotype was identified in a 2013 outbreak of hepatitis A virus infections in Europe linked to frozen berries and a 2012 outbreak in British Columbia related to a frozen berry blend with pomegranate seeds from Egypt.
However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no evidence at this time that these outbreaks are related to the ongoing U. S. outbreak.
Me, I am not so sure.