Outbreaks of Hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection are currently being investigated in several European countries, including Italy, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and Scandinavia.
According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), one outbreak appears to be centred on the Italian regions of Trento and Bolzano. More than 200 extra cases of HAV infection have been reported across Italy in the first six months of the year and travellers to Italy from Germany, the Netherlands and Poland have also been infected. This outbreak is thought to be associated with consumption of mixed frozen berries.
Three cases in Ireland caused by the same strain of HAV have no history of travel to Italy, suggesting that the source of the virus may have been distributed in more than one European country.
Meanwhile public health authorities in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland have been investigating more than 100 cases of HAV genotype 1B infection that began in October 2012. Epidemiological studies in Denmark have established a link with frozen strawberries, but the source of the fruit has not so far been identified.