The Australian media has recently been saturated with reports of hepatitis A stemming from people eating frozen berries.

A popular and ‘healthy’ snack, ‘Nanna’s’ brand frozen mixed berries, ‘Nanna’s’ frozen raspberries and ‘Creative Gourmet’ mixed berries have been recalled from Australian stockists as the culprits behind the hepatitis A outbreak.

Packaged in China, the Nanna’s brand frozen mixed berries are currently the only link to the illness. The other mixed berries brands recalled have been packaged in the same manufacturing plant.

Spread via food and water, hepatitis A is a result of contamination of food with faecal matter from infected people. Practicing good hand hygiene and avoiding food preparation while ill are the most important factors in preventing further outbreaks of hepatitis A.

Speaking with the ABC, Australia’s chief medical officer, Chris Baggoley says only a small percentage of those who consume the mixed berries are likely to develop hepatitis A.

“Very conservatively, it is up to one-in-100 who consume these berries will get a hepatitis A infection and I think that’s very important to understand,” he said.

Department of Health figures support Baggoley’s claim, citing as of 11am on February 19, 2015 there were 13 diagnosed cases of hepatitis A nation-wide three in Victoria; four in New South Wales, five in Queensland and one in Western Australia. This number is expected to increase in the coming days.

According to the Department of Health, “Hepatitis A is not a life threatening disease and most people recover with rest and fluids. However, it may cause severe illness in young children, older people and in immunosuppressed people.”

Symptoms of hepatitis A include fever, tiredness, loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhoea, abdominal discomfort, dark-coloured urine and jaundice.

If you, or anyone you know has recently consumed frozen berries and is experiencing any of these symptoms, or feeling unwell, visit a GP immediately.

Learn more about the Department of Health’s announcement regarding the hepatitis A outbreak here, or contact your GP.