EFSA helps investigate the source of hepatitis A outbreaks

EFSA is working closely with the European Commission’s Directorate General for Health and Consumers, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and Member States to help identify the origin of the recent outbreaks of Hepatitis A virus infection in humans.

The outbreaks occurred in Italy, Ireland, and the Netherlands. Just today the Italian Ministry of Health announced a new case on its website (only available in Italian).

The last update on the epidemiological situation in the European Union by our Ministry (30 September 2013) stated that:

– In 4 countries in Northern Europe (Denmark , Sweden, Norway and Finland) from October 2012 to April 2013 were reported 71 cases , of which 28 confirmed (strain HAV genotype IB sequence KC876797 ) . The source of infection was identified in epidemiological frozen berries, they are still under investigation to determine origin / brand.

– In 6 countries (Denmark , England , Germany, Holland , Norway and Sweden) from November 2012 to April 2013 there were 80 cases of hepatitis A in 15 confirmed (strain HAV genotype IB different from that isolated in the previous outbreak). No specific source of infection has yet been identified , but all cases have traveled to Egypt during the exposure period .

– There were 11 cases of hepatitis A in foreign tourists who stayed in Italy, where, in line at the time of incubation of the disease, could be of exposure.

– Ireland , the Netherlands and France have reported cases of hepatitis A associated with consumption of berries, caused by a virus identical to that of the epidemic Italian, with no history of travel in Italy.

In particular, EFSA will analyse information on the outbreaks provided by Member States. Hepatitis A is an infectious disease that can be transmitted through consumption of contaminated food or water or direct contact with an infectious person.

Mandate: Request to EFSA on scientific assistance in a multinational outbreak of Hepatitis A

See also: EFSA-ECDC joint technical report

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2 thoughts on “EFSA helps investigate the source of hepatitis A outbreaks

  1. I big threat for save food is the fact that more and more food is presented in the store without a packaging. It gives more loses in the stores and therfore lower prices to its producers and the risk that someone with a infectious desease leaves something behind gets bigger.


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