What is Hepatitis?
Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver which can be self-limiting or eventually progress to fibrosis (scarring), cirrhosis or liver cancer, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Hepatitis viruses are the most common cause of the condition, but other infections, toxic substances such as alcohol, drugs, and contaminated or adulterated food/beverages can also be the culprit.
Hepatitis Food Recall Timeline
Acute Hepatitis A Outbreak Declared in Nevada
June 20, 2019 – Health authorities in Clark County, Nevada, have declared an outbreak of acute hepatitis A following a drastic increase in the number of cases this year, according to KSNV News 3 Las Vegas. The Southern Nevada Health District said in a statement there have been at least 37 reported cases of acute hepatitis A so far in 2019, compared to 17 cases during the same time span in 2018 and no cases in 2017.
Costco Recalls Frozen Berries Over Hepatitis Fears
June 18, 2019 – Costco announced on Wednesday that it is recalling frozen blackberries over fears they may be contaminated with hepatitis A, according to People. Affected products include 4 pound bags of Kirkland Signature brand Three Berry Blend which have best-by dates between February 16, 2020, and May 4, 2020. The recall marks the second time in less than a week that a major grocery chain has recalled frozen berries over Hepatitis concerns.
Kroger Frozen Berries Recall
June 9, 2019 – The supermarket chain Kroger Co. is recalling 3 varieties of frozen berries after routine testing by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) detected the presence of hepatitis A in some samples, according to ABC News. Affected products include Kroger’s Private Selection brand of frozen blackberries and 2 sizes of frozen berry medleys. In addition to Kroger stores, the berries were distributed to all of the company-owned outlets, including Ralphs, Fred Dillons, Smith’s and Fred Meyer, among others.
Frozen Ahi Tuna Recall
May 3, 2017 – The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) issued a recall for imported frozen raw tuna or ahi cubes distributed by Tropic Fish Hawaii, LLC on Oahu after test samples came back positive for hepatitis A.
DOH said Tropic Fish Hawaii discovered 200 contaminated 15-pound cases of frozen ahi cubes, 140 of which were recovered and never got distributed. Affected products were served or sold at:
- Times Supermarket and Shima’s (Aiea, Kailua, Kaneohe, Kunia, Liliha, Mililani, Waipahu, Waimanalo)
- GP Hawaiian Food Catering
- Crab Shack Kapolei (also known as Maile Sunset Bar & Grill in Kapolei)
- Aloha Sushi
- ABC Store
Energy Drinks Linked to Hepatitis
November 2016 – A man who binged on energy drinks for 3 weeks developed acute hepatitis due to excess vitamin B3 consumption, according to a study published in BMJ Case Reports. The patient, a previously healthy 50-year-old man, reported experiencing malaise and anorexia, which progressed to nausea and vomiting after drinking 4 to 5 energy drinks per day. The man’s symptoms initially led him to think he had the flu, but dark urine and yellowed skin indicated that it was something more serious, which ultimately was determined to be acute hepatitis.
The 5 Types of Viral Hepatitis
- Hepatitis A – Highly contagious liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus. Most people who develop the condition get it from contaminated food or water, or from close contact with a person or object that’s infected. Mild cases of hepatitis A don’t require treatment and recover completely with no permanent liver damage.
- Hepatitis B – Liver infection caused by the Hepatitis B virus (HBV). Hepatitis B is transmitted when blood, semen, or another body fluid from a person infected with the Hepatitis B virus enters the body of someone who is not infected. This can occur through sexual contact, sharing needles, syringes, or other drug-injection equipment; or from mother to baby at birth. For some people, hepatitis B is an acute, or short-term, illness but for others, it can become a long-term, chronic infection.
- Hepatitis C – Viral infection that causes liver inflammation, sometimes leading to serious liver damage. The hep C virus (HCV) spreads through contaminated blood. Until recently, hepatitis C treatment required weekly injections and oral medications that many HCV-infected people couldn’t take because of other health problems or unacceptable side effects. Today, chronic HCV is usually curable with oral medications taken every day for 2 to 6 months.
- Hepatitis D (aka “delta hepatitis”) – Liver infection caused by the hepatitis D virus (HDV). Hepatitis D is uncommon in the U.S., and only occurs in people who are infected with the hepatitis B virus, due to the fact that HDV is an incomplete virus that requires the helper function of HBV to replicate.
- Hepatitis E – Liver infection caused by the Hepatitis E virus (HEV). Hepatitis E is a self-limited disease that does not result in chronic infection. While rare in the U.S., Hepatitis E is common in many parts of the world, particularly in developing nations.
(Courtesy of healthline)
Nearly 2,700 Cases of Hepatitis A Diagnosed in Florida
October 2, 2019 – The state of Florida reported 65 new cases of hepatitis A cases last week, bringing the total number of illnesses this year to at least 2,675, according to FOX 35. Marion County had the highest number of new cases last week, with 8, while Lake, Manatee, and Volusia Counties each reported 6 new cases. Another 3 counties — Citrus, Pinellas and Sarasota — each had 5 new cases. Florida counties with the most cases of hepatitis A this year include:
- Pasco (394)
- Pinellas (368)
- Volusia (242)
CDC Recommends Hepatitis A Vaccination Until 18, for HIV Patients
June 28, 2019 – In response to an unprecedented outbreak of hepatitis A across the U.S., the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is recommending that all children be vaccinated against the virus until the reach 18, and for HIV patients, according to CNN. Previously, the vaccine was only recommended for children aged 12 to 23 months. The committee also voted unanimously to recommend that people ages 1 or older with with HIV be vaccinated.
“The goal here is to catch them up on their vaccination at a time when we know they are more likely to seek medical care,” said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, acting director of the CDC’s Center for Preparedness and Response.
Which Drugs are Used to Treat Hepatitis?
- Direct-acting antivirals (DAAs)
- Paritaprevir (genotype 1)
- Simeprevir (genotypes 1 & 4)
- Grazoprevir (genotypes 1 and 4)
- Ledipasvir (a component of Harvoni)
- Ombitasvir (a component of Viekira Pak)
- Elbasvir (a component of Zepatier)
- Daclatasvir (Daklinza)
Symptoms of Hepatitis
Hepatitis A Symptoms
- Jaundice (the yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes)
- Low-grade fever (fever up to 102°F)
- Abdominal pain (especially on the right side)
- Dark-colored urine
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle pain
(Courtesy of Family Doctor)
Hepatitis B Symptoms
- Abdominal pain
- Dark urine
- Joint pain
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Weakness and fatigue
(courtesy of Mayo Clinic)
Hepatitis C Symptoms
- Feeling very tired
- Sore muscles
- Joint pain
- Nausea or poor appetite
- Stomach pain
- Itchy skin
- Dark urine
(courtesy Liver Foundation)
Is There a Cure?
Hepatitis A and C are curable, but hepatitis B is only preventable by vaccine, according to MedicalNewsDaily. A cure is still under development for hepatitis D.
- ”What is Viral Hepatitis?”. World Health Organization (WHO).
- ”Hepatitis Health Center”. WebMD.
- ”Hepatitis B”. Mayo Clinic.
- ”Diagnosing Hepatitis C”. American Liver Foundation.
Can I File a Class Action?
Although Schmidt & Clark, LLP, is a nationally recognized class action firm, we have decided against this type of litigation when it comes to hepatitis lawsuits. Our lawyers feel that if there is a successful resolution to these cases, individual suits, not class actions will be the best way to get maximum payouts to our clients. If you’ve been diagnosed with hepatitis, we know you’ve suffered emotionally and economically, and want to work with you personally to obtain the maximum compensation for the damages caused by your injuries. Contact us today to learn more about your legal rights.
Do I Have a Hepatitis Lawsuit?
The Food Poisoning Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in hepatitis lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.
Again, if you or a loved one was diagnosed with hepatitis after eating one of the foods mentioned in this article, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and our lawyers can help.