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Requests for Hepatitis A Vaccine Skyrocket After Outbreak

Source: CBS 4 Denver

06/05/2013

Health officials in Colorado report increased demand for the hepatitis A vaccine following an outbreak that has affected 49 people in seven states. Twelve of the cases were reported in Colorado, the officials said. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cases of hepatitis A have also been reported in New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, California, Hawaii, and Utah. The cases are linked to a frozen berry mix sold by Townsend Farms of Fairview, Ore. The company has recalled the Organic Antioxidant Blend, which is sold at Costco under the Townsend Farms label and under the Harris Teeter brand at those stores. Dr. Judith Shlay, associate director at Denver Public Health, notes that the number of people seeking the hepatitis A vaccine in the past two weeks has increased significantly. “After the exposure, if we give the vaccine in a time period within two weeks, then they can avoid the illness,” Shlay said. While the risk of contracting hepatitis A from the frozen berries is relatively low, the state health department is advising all Colorado residents who were exposed to the berry mix to consider getting vaccinated.



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