Liver insurance

THE hepatitis A outbreak linked to frozen berries from China is a good reminder of a disease that was once quite common in Australia but is now unusual.

At the time of writing, no hepatitis A virus (HAV) appears to have been isolated from berries; the link is epidemiological. However, in a 2012 Canadian outbreak HAV was isolated from strawberry yogurt cake and frozen strawberry cubes imported from China. So it has happened before.

Hepatitis A used to be the scourge of travellers, particularly to developing countries. The HAV vaccine changed that but hepatitis A is making a comeback.