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Hepatitis A in Nordic Countries

16 Apr 2013

An outbreak of hepatitis A infection has been reported in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden over the last six months with 66 cases as of 11 April 2013. The source of the outbreak has not been identified but epidemiological investigations in the affected countries suggests frozen strawberries as source of infection.

The identification of the same type of hepatitis A virus in four different countries confirms that this is a multinational food-borne outbreak. The distribution of cases over time suggests a persistent common source. As the most recent cases had onset in March 2013, the outbreak is most likely still on-going.

According to a press release by the Swedish Institute for Communicable Disease Control on 11 April, the Swedish National Food Administration recommends now that frozen purchased berries should be cooked before they are eaten.

Advice for Travellers

As the source of the outbreak has yet to be confirmed, there is no specific advice for travellers apart from being aware of the outbreak and to follow local advice.

Vaccine recommendations have not been changed for these countries.