Hepatitis A: EFSA and ECDC update their rapid outbreak assessment

News in brief
11 April 2014

More than 1,300 hepatitis A cases have been reported in eleven Member States since January 2013, with 240 confirmed cases related to the ongoing outbreak.

Initially the outbreak was associated with people who had travelled to Italy. However seven Member States- France, Germany, Ireland, Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom- have reported cases of infections in people who had not travelled to Italy.

Preliminary investigations identified frozen berries as the most likely source of infection. Other hypotheses, such as cross contamination in the food production environment or that the outbreak strain is already widespread but previously undetected, have now also been taken into account.

EFSA is leading a trace-back investigation, with the support of affected Member States, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, the European Commission and the Federal Institute for risk assessment (Bfr).