The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) have issued a Rapid Outbreak Assessment relating to cases of hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection in Germany, the Netherlands and Poland.
Since 1 January 2013, 15 confirmed cases of HAV infection have been reported amongst people who have no history of recent travel outside the EU, suggesting exposure to the virus within an EU member state.
The outbreak investigation has revealed that all the cases had travelled to the Trento or Bolzano regions of northern Italy, where a recent increase in HAV cases has also been reported. Further epidemiological and environmental investigations suggested that mixed frozen berries were the most likely vehicle of infection, as many of those affected reported consumption of berries prior to the onset of symptoms. HAV has also been isolated from a pack of mixed frozen berries at the home of one patient. Further genetic testing is being undertaken to conform the source of the outbreak and further reported cases are expected.
The full Assessment can be found here.