RSOE Emergency and Disaster Information Service
RSOE EDIS ALERTMAIL
2015-02-24 04:37:20 – Biological Hazard – Australia
EDIS Code: BH-20150224-47104-AUS
Date&Time: 2015-02-24 04:37:20 [UTC]
Continent: Australia – New-Zealand
Location: States of New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia,
Not confirmed information!
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The Federal Health Department has confirmed 18 Australians have now been diagnosed with hepatitis A as a result of eating contaminated frozen berries imported from China. There are seven people in New South Wales, seven in Queensland, three in Victoria and one in Western Australia with the infection. “Most people who contract hepatitis A will recover with rest and fluids, although it may cause severe illness in older people, those with chronic liver disease and those who are immunosuppressed,” the Health Department’s statement said. “Hepatitis A is spread via food and water, including ice, that is contaminated with faecal matter from infected people.” The Agriculture Department had identified 30 food importers, including Victoria-based Patties Foods, importing frozen berries from China. In Senate estimates hearings in Canberra on Monday, many senators were sceptical, with committee chairman and Liberal senator Bill Heffernan, Labor senator Doug Cameron and Greens senator Rachel Siewert all pressing departmental officials on how they could be sure food safety was any more certain at other Chinese berry processing facilities. “The problem I have, is that you would not have known there was a problem with the two factories except that there was a hepatitis outbreak,” Senator Cameron said. “So if we’d asked these questions of the department a week before the outbreak, you’d have been telling us that everything’s OK.” The department has placed a holding order on frozen berries from the two Chinese factories linked to the hepatitis A outbreak, until June. But the holding order does not apply to other Chinese frozen berries not linked to those factories, or to frozen berries from any other country. Greens senator Rachel Siewert asked why the department’s holding order should not apply to the other 29 berry importers which had not been directly linked to the current outbreak.
The name of Hazard: Hepatitis A outbreak (frozen berries)
Posted:2015-02-24 04:37:20 [UTC]