Food and safety officials of Sweden and Denmark are probing for the Hepatitis A outbreak pertaining to the imported frozen berries suspected as source of infection.

Cases in five different areas of Sweden have been reported since July and latest patient came on September 18.

Six women and three men from Norrbotten, Västra Götaland, Stockholm, Uppsala and Södermanland are infected with the liver virus. Patients range from 2 to 78 years old. Also, a couple of people are ill in Denmark.

In the probe, questionnaire sought answers from many people and got the common hub as all of them ate berries especially non cooked raspberries. However, chemical analysis showed that no kind of virus was found in fruit.

Local infection control units, Swedish Food Agency (Livsmedelsverket), and Public Health Agency of Sweden (Folkhälsomyndigheten) are investigating to confirm the source of the infections.

Two Danish cases have been linked to the Swedish outbreak and a cross-border investigation has been initiated.

In Denmark, the domestic outbreak investigation is ongoing with no firm hypothesis on the source. It includes 16 patients aged 17 to 63. Eleven people have needed hospital treatment. Interviews have shown patients have not been traveling, do not know each other, and had not participated in joint events.

Hepatitis A is spread when someone ingests the virus through close contact with an infected person or by eating contaminated food or drink. The incubation period is usually 14 to 28 days. Symptoms can last up to two months and include fatigue, nausea, stomach pain, and jaundice. Most people do not have long-lasting illness. The best way to prevent it is to get vaccinated.


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