Both the Kalamazoo County Health Department and Calhoun County Health Department have issued warnings about possible Hepatitis A exposure through frozen strawberries.

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The Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) and Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDARD) has corrected an earlier release that said contaminated frozen strawberries had been served locally. They now say that was incorrect.

Kalamazoo County Environmental Health says it has been working to contact food establishments to remove the potentially hazardous strawberries.

According to information provided by both Kalamazoo and Calhoun Country Health Departments:

Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that is a result of infection with the hepatitis A virus.  Hepatitis A can range in severity from mild illness, lasting a few weeks, to severe illness, lasting several months.  Illness generally occurs 15 to 50 days following exposure and includes fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal pain, jaundice, abnormal liver tests, dark urine, and pale stool.  Anyone with symptoms of hepatitis A should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

 

Hepatitis A can be prevented through vaccination with the hepatitis A vaccine.  If you have not received two doses of the vaccination and have consumed strawberries or a strawberry product at the facility noted below in the past 14 days, it is recommended that you receive a hepatitis A vaccine as soon as possible.  The vaccination can also prevent illness from exposure to contaminated food if given within two weeks of said exposure for individuals 1 year through 40 years of age.

 

The health professionals recommend frequent hand washing with soap and warm water after using the bathroom, changing a diaper, or before preparing food is the best way to help prevent the spread of Hepatitis A.

The Kalamazoo County Health Dept. says it will keeps it's website up to date with the latest information and has a list of locations where to get the Hepatitis A vaccine. It will at www.kalcounty.com/hcs under the "Hot Topics" tab.