U.S.: Hepatitis A outbreak "potentially linked" to blackberries, says FDA

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U.S.: Hepatitis A outbreak

An outbreak of hepatitis A in Indiana, Nebraska and Wisconsin has been "potentially linked" to blackberries from the Fresh Thyme chain of grocery stores, the Food and Drug Administration says.

The FDA and U.S. Centers for Disease Control are investigating after people who fell ill reported consuming fresh, non-organic blackberries from the Illinois-based chain.

So far, a total of 11 people have gotten sick, six of them in Nebraska. Six people have been hospitalized.

According to the FDA, the blackberries came from a distribution center that ships to Fresh Thyme stores in 11 states: Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

The FDA is urging people not to eat any fresh blackberries purchased from Fresh Thyme stores between Sept. 9 and 30. Any such berries that have been frozen for later use should also be thrown away.

Anyone in the 11 states listed who has eaten those blackberries and hasn't been vaccinated for hepatitis A should contact their healthcare provider about post-exposure prophylaxis, which can reduce the risk of infection for people who haven't been vaccinated.

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