DENVER (CBS4) – There have been approximately 30 cases of hepatitis A reported in five states, but CBS4’s Suzanne McCarroll found out that many people, including children, may already be protected against it.
Health officials have narrowed down the source of the disease to Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend berries, which is distributed by Costco.
People realizing they had the berries have been panicking if they’ve already had eaten them. But some realized they may not have had to worry as much as they thought.
Nicole Wangaard used the frozen berries to make fruit smoothies.
“I just thought it would be more convenient buying the frozen,” Wangaard said. “I was pretty worried.”
The smoothies were for her 19-month-old son, Miles. She thought it was a good way to get him to eat healthy foods.
“I was nervous when I got the news that these berries contained the hepatitis A, so we were immediately on alert,” Wangaard said.
Wangaard checked her son’s immunization records and found out he had already received the hepatitis A shot as part of his routine vaccinations. She had too, but her husband now has to go get his.
“Certainly the hepatitis A vaccine is extremely effective, and since the vaccine became available in the late 1990s, we’ve seen a real decline in the number of cases of hepatitis A,” Alicia Cronquist with the State Health Department said.
Those who have eaten the berries need to get the vaccine within 14 days for it to be effective.
Wangaard returned her fruit to Costco to get her $10 back. She’s now using fresh fruit in her concoctions, although it’s being met with some slight resistance from Miles.
The hepatitis A vaccine is recommended but not required for children over the age of one.