A 2013 outbreak of the hepatitis A virus (HAV) originating in Italy from imported frozen berries has now expanded to the rest of Europe, according to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and reported by Food Safety News.

During the past year, 240 confirmed hep A cases in France, Germany, Ireland, Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom contained the same genome sequence as the outbreak in Italy.

An additional 1,315 hep A cases have been reported in the European Union (EU) since January 2013, which could be part of the outbreak. Since frozen berries have such a long shelf life, the number of patients and countries affected by the HAV strain are expected to rise.

To combat the emerging outbreak, EFSA recommends EU residents to boil all frozen berry products before eating them and to get a hepatitis A vaccination.

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