Bad fruit sold at Costco makes dozens sick across SoCal, including San Diegans

SAN DIEGO - Several of the 30 Hepatitis A cases linked to frozen organic berries from Costco are in Southern California.

Some Shoppers told 10News they were surprised that two locals got sick after eating the organic berries from Townsend Farms in Oregon. Health officials haven't ordered a recall, but Costco pulled the berries from its shelves after people in five states became sick.

Hepatitis A usually comes from food workers who don't properly wash their hands. Word of the spread is frightening shoppers.

Doctors say anyone exposed should be vaccinated, and Los Angeles County Health has seven clinics set up to screen possible victims.

Team 10 asked San Diego County Deputy Public Health Officer Dr. Eric McDonald why San Diego County isn't doing the same thing.

"They have a different system than we do in Los Angeles. They operate their own public healthcare delivery system. We don't," said McDonald.

McDonald said the San Diego County Health Department relies on the community clinic system, where the vaccine is available and they created a hotline for people with questions about the viral illness.

If you do not have a health care provider, the health department said to contact the County of San Diego's Epidemiology Program at 619-692-8499.

Health department officials said 2,800 bags of berries linked to Hepatitis A have been sold at Costco stores in the county since May and approximately 36,000 bags have been sold in since January.

"Symptoms of vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, cramps and abdominal pain," said McDonald.

The number of cases here could increase because doctors say it can take up to 30 days to become ill after being exposed to the virus.


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