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At Least One Person in Oxford Sick From CostCo Recall

Public Health is urging people to get vaccinated after at least one local person contracted Hepatitis A after eating frozen berries.

At least one person from Oxford County has contracted Hepatitis A after eating the Nature's Touch Organic Berry Cherry Blend from Costco. 

The product was recalled on April 15th and so far 10 people have contracted the disease, including one case in Oxford County. Program Supervisor in Health Protection Elaine Reddick tells Heart FM they are asking people to contact them if they bought the recalled frozen fruit. 

"What we are mainly trying to do is highlight that that recall is out there, making sure that anyone who has bought it knows about the recall so knows not to eat it anymore and refer to the CFIA recall which has links to the Costco store information." 

Reddick says if you have eaten the product in the last two weeks the vaccination could still work and prevent you from getting Hepatitis A. 

"It's not a regular vaccine that you would get in school for example, but people do tend to get it when they go traveling, it is one of the recommended travel vaccines, so there might be some people who have already had it and you ate the product - you will be ok. But if you haven't had it and you are within two weeks of eating the product the recommendation is to get vaccinated." 

Costco is paying for all of the shots, so it is free. 

From Ministry of Health & Long-Term Care:

- Hepatitis A is a virus that can cause a liver infection. Symptoms can last a few days to several months. The virus is rarely fatal and most people develop lifetime immunity following infection.

- Hepatitis A can be serious for older people and those with chronic liver disease. For these individuals, there is a greater risk of hospitalization and death.

- This virus is transmitted from person-to-person by the fecal-oral route. It is found in feces of a person infected with the virus and one common route of exposure is food contaminated by infected food handlers.

- Hepatitis A can be avoided by:

- Not handling or preparing food for anyone if you are ill;

- Washing your hands often and thoroughly using soap and water especially after using the bathroom, changing a diaper, and before preparing or eating food;

- If wearing disposable food handling gloves, changing them often;

- Avoiding sharing common items such as cups and finger foods (for example popcorn);

- Always washing fresh fruits and vegetables such as strawberries and lettuce.

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