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A rare 2017 Botulism outbreak in california

By Botulism Lawyer Tony Coveny  

A recent outbreak of Botulism in 2017 was eventaully traced to the Valley Oaks Food and Fuel Gas Station, in Walnut Grove, California.According to authorities in Sacramento County, California, there has been a rare outbreak of Botulism - it has been linked to the Valley Oaks Food and Fuel Gas Station, in Walnut Grove, California.  The Valley Oaks Food and Gas Station only accounts for four of the five victims, however,indicating the tainted product may have been sold at more than one local establishment.

Hepatitis is a disease that attacks the liver, and can cause severe injury or death.  The signs of Hepatitis can include lethargy, liver pain, yellowing of the eyes or skin (called jaundice) which is very often correlated with elevated bilirubin.  Traditional blood tests or a liver enzyme panel will often show highly elevated AST, ALT and Alk. Phos.  Seek medical attention immediately if you believe you have contracted Hepatitis.  Botulism is discussed below.

hepatitis c

viral hepatitis

Texas Hepatitis Lawyer

Hepatitis C is the Non-Hep-A, Non-Hep-B  hepatitis.  It is usually transmitted in blood or through sexual contact, and leads to chronic hepatitis sometimes after decades of latency.

hepatitis d, e, f, and gb

other rare forms of the hepatitis virus

These forms of hepatitis are much more rare, and require clinical diagnosis.  There have been no food borne outbreaks  of these forms of hepatitis.

hepatitis b

viral hepatitis

Texas Hepatitis Lawyer

Hepadnavirus is the casue of Hepatitis B, and can be serious.  In about fifteen percent of its victims, the Hepatitis B acute infection becomes a chronic infection which is much more severe.  In chronically infected persons, the virus continues to damage the liver. 

Hepatitis B infection is harder to acquire, requiring blood or other intimate bodily fluids to be exchanged, such as through sexual intercourse or breast feeding.  Tattoo's and drug use with needles are often sources of the disease. 

Globally, an half million to over a million individuals die each year from the results of chronic hepatitis - especially in South-East Asia.

Hepatitis B cannot be passed easily in food, so there have been not food borne outbreaks linked to this form of Hepatitis.

Hepatitis a

viral hepatitis

Texas Hepatitis Lawyer

The most common way to acquire hepatitis A (which is otherwise known as infectious jaundice)  is through the same mechanism as many food borne illnesses-the Oral-Fecal route. Consumption of contaminated water, raw food, or other contaminated products can lead to infection.  An infected person often begins to suffer symptoms between 15 and 50 days after consumption.  A test for IgM antibodies in the 4 to 12 week window after infection can diagnose an acute infection. A test for IgG antibodies anytime post-5 weeks after infection shows that a person has been infected in their lifetime.

In third world countries, infection with Hepatitis A is quite common and even a majority of adults in some countries will be positive for IgG.  But in the U.S., infection rates are much lower, in part due to protected water supplies. 

Unfortunately often before symptoms even show up, and infected person is shedding the virus in their feces and can infect other people! 

There is a vaccine available for Hepatitis A, and it lasts at least 10 years, protecting a victims from acquiring the virus.  But if a person has already had Hepatitis A, reinfection is rare.

Different Types of Hepatitis

Drug-induced hepatitis lawsuits?

by Texas Hepatitis Lawyer Tony Coveny, Ph.D.

The most common form of Hepatitis, which is an inflammation of the liver, is the commonly known viral hepatitis.  Viral hepatitis comes from transmission of a virus that attacks the liver, and is known as Hepatitis A, B or C, each with different means of transmission and different medical effects on the body.  The massive Hepatitis A outbreak linked to Townsend Farms Antioxidant Organic mixed berries, sold frozen at Costco, sickened at least 300 individuals, but likely many more healthy individuals who simply did not know they were victims.  Thee individuals probably felt tired, worn out, and had other symptoms they associated with a clod, flu, to another ailment.  Amazingly enough, many healthy individuals can push through a Hepatitis A infection and never really know what it was that hit them. 

The victims that were identified in the Hepatitis food poisoning  outbreak often sought medical attention and were noted for elevated liver enzymes, such as elevations in the AST, ALT, bilirubin, Alk. Phos., and were then given a hepatitis screen.  Some of the victims even turned yellow, a dead-on sign of Hepatitis in many instances. 

But there are also many victims of non-viral hepatitis, including those who develop drug-induced hepatitis.  In drug-induced hepatitis lawsuits, the allegations are usually that the physician or administering professional keeps a person on a drug for a lengthy or prolonged period of time whilst the drug is damaging g the liver.  One example, as a Hepatitis lawyer, I have dealt with recently was the case of a young woman who developed (allegedly) hepatitis after begin on an antibiotic for 60 days.  The traditional course of antibiotics was extended as she was experiencing a prolonged period of sinus infection. The acute nature o thee sinus infection led to increases in the duration o the antibiotics, but no concurrent blood testing was done to determine if her liver could sustain the long onset of antibiotics without significant damage.  Other individuals are on drugs to treat other ailments, and suddenly find their health taking a steep dive with yellowing skin or eyes, a significant drop in energy, and other signs that their liver is failing.  In many cases, removal of the causative drug may provide the necessary relief and recovery of the liver, but other times, the liver damage is significant and a live transplants is required. 

Damages in drug-induced hepatitis cases can be extremely high, including significant medical intervention - especially if a liver transplant is required.  Transplantation can lead to a host of other medical problems as well, so anyone suffering from severe drug-induced hepatitis will need to have excellent medical expertise to evaluate their case and to look at the possible need for future medical attention.

two Recent hepatitis a outbreaks linked to imported berries

by Hepatitis lawyer Tony Coveny

As a hepatitis lawyer, I have been involved in the filing of many hepatitis lawsuits related to hepatitis A (HAV) outbreaks in the U.S. Unlike many food borne pathogen outbreaks, an HAV outbreak is unique on many levels. As a hepatitis lawyer I have worked extensively on two recent HAV outbreaks linked to imported berries. in 2013 it was imported pomegranate arils, while in 2016/2017 it was imported strawberries.

Diagnosing an HAV patient is often difficult due to the very different and diverse symptoms that HAV vuases. As a hepatitis lawyer, I have seen victims with few of the traditional signs and others with the dark yellow skin and eyes that are almost conclusive proof of infection if a person is known to have been exposed to a hepatitis outbreak.   Clearly, the most telling evidence is a positive Hepatitis A IgM test, which shows recent infection. 

A positive Hepatitis AB test simply indicates prior exposure, without indication as to how recently the hepatitis was acquired.  That said, as a Hepatitis lawyer, I can tell you that, a positive Hepatitis AB test along with elevated liver enzymes and/or jaundice is very telling!

Can I file a Hepatitis Lawsuit?

A hepatitis lawsuit is dependent upon proper medical diagnosis and testing, and yet testing can also be problematic. Many medical providers will do a full AB test to determine if the antibodies are present, but a positive result only indicates prior infection. That is why it is important to do the proper test to see if the infection is recent.  A knowledgeable HAV lawyer can be helpful is guiding you.

In a hepatitis lawsuit, a claim is  made for medical and wage expenses or losses, injuries and pain and suffering. You should speak to an experienced Hepatitis Lawyer to make sure you address all the issues and claims available in a claim for HAV infection - talk to Hepatitis Lawyer Tony Coveny.

Hepatitis can be contracted by eating food contaminated with the virus.

by Hepatitis Lawyer Tony Coveny

Hepatitis A has been linked to a number of outbreaks in Europe, Canada and the United States. It can cause many symptoms, such as:

•nausea    •fever    •body aches    •headaches   

•lethargy (fatigue)   •yellow skin and eyes     •very light colored stools    

•very dark  urine  

•abdominal pain  •elevated Liver Enzymes

Hepatitis is hard to diagnose, and hence many people do not know they have it. In addition, the symptoms often do not show up for two to 8 weeks. Most doctors do not consider Hepatitis as a possible cause unless they see the yellow eyes or skin or do a liver enzyme test that comes back abnormal. When people get tested, they only find out if they have had Hepatitis A. But there are tests available to test if the Hepatitis A was recently acquired, and in a Hepatitis outbreak (such as the Costco - Townsend Farms outbreak) this is very important. To establish the foundation for a hepatitis lawsuit, your hepatitis lawyer will need a positive test, as well as proof of purchase to be able to establish a link between your illness and the hepatitis outbreak. The recent Hepatitis Outbreak linked to Townsend Farms In Oregon has led to a number of Hepatitis lawsuits against Costco and Townsend Farms linked to frozen berries that contain pomegranate seeds from Turkey, a region that is a source of this particular strain of Hepatitis A. As a Hepatitis lawyer, I am working to file lawsuits on behalf of Hepatitis victims across the Western half of this nation. The Hepatitis lawsuits allege negligence, strict liability, and breach of warranty. Hepatitis A is an especially contagious virus, and can pass easily in food. It is not killed by freezing, as was evident in the Townsend Farms, Costco frozen berries, and hence is a significant public risk. Companies that sell a product such as the Townsend Farms frozen berries are making money on selling a high-end product that is touted as "Organic" and having "Anti-Oxidant" properties. In this case, it turned out to be anything but healthy as Townsend Farms and Costco are now on the line for damages to at least 100 people in 8 states who ate the frozen berries and got Hepatitis A from doing so. So far, individuals in many states have filed their hepatitis lawsuit with the help of a hepatitis lawyer. Each hepatitis lawsuit is linked to the hepatitis outbreak by scientific testing and adequate proof of purchase of the Costco berries. The Costco-Townsend Farms hepatitis outbreak has already led to over a dozen hepatitis lawsuits filed by one or more hepatitis lawyers of personal injury lawyers (these later lawyers often refer the cases to a hepatitis lawyer who has experience with filing hepatitis lawsuits in the wake of a hepatitis outbreak. A hepatitis lawyer has the sort of experience that helps them work with state and federal health departments to investigate and prosecute a hepatitis lawsuit).


By Botulism Lawyer Tony Coveny, Ph.D. 

At least 25 people  have been made ill fro the use of seal oil made in an Alaskan village called Twin Hills.  Authorities became alerted to the outbreak on December 19th when 2 of the victims had to be flown into Bethel, Alaska, for medical attention.  The victims came from Quinhagak, Alaska.  Because the victims were unable to breath on their own, they were then flown to Anchorage, Alaska for advance d medical treatment.  The program manager for Infectious Disease, Dr. Cooper, called this one of the largest botulism outbreaks he'd seen, an d note this exceeds the number of botulism cases often seen annually in the U.S.   The source is a family who produces seal oil, and according to some local reports, they are not cooperating with efforts to destroy the product.  Dr. Cooper also noted that the seal oil registered the highest level of botulism his instruments could record.

The Botulism victims come from the towns of Quinhagak and Dillingham, Alaska. And while the outbreak may be limited to these 25 individuals,  since the symptoms of botulism can occur within a day to ten days post consumption, new cases may yet be identified. This would be about the 55th time that seal oil has caused  an outbreak of botulism in Alaska.

Note:  Clearly, botulism cases are much more rare than food poisoning cases linked to E. coli,salmonella, Listeria, Campylobacter, Shigella, Vibrio, ciguatoxin, or Norovirus.  But due to their severity, I discuss them here.

signs ~ symptoms botulism

By Botulism lawyer Tony Coveny 

According to the CDC, never eat food found in the following conditions:

  • a container is leaking;

  • a container is bulging or swollen;

  • a container is broken, damages, or appears abnormal;

  • the container spurts fluid when opened;

  • foam comes out of the container when open;

  • the food is discolored;

  • the food is moldy;

  • the food smells bad.

Botulism Symptoms:

  • blurred or double vision;

  • drooping eyelids;

  • slurred speech;

  • dry mouth and difficulty swallowing;  and

  • general muscle weakness
    Botulism in infants:

  • lethargy, constipation, failure to eat, and weakness

Botulism is a paralytic illness, caused by consuming botulinum toxin, a nerve toxin.

By Botulism lawyer Tony Coveny

As a botulism lawyer, it is rare to come across cases of botulism that can be traced to industrial food production.  Food today is produced in such a way that, when done properly, it prevents this very dangerous and deadly toxin from entering the food chain.  However, as in most all food poisoning outbreaks, as uncovered in the subsequent food poisoning lawsuits, breakdowns in the application of safe food manufacturing and production standards do happen.  Temperatures are not maintained, bottles and cans not properly sealed, and product containers are damages in shipping and during distribution.  Any mishap in the proper application of safe operating procedures and safe food handling can allow botulism to be introduced into the human food chain.


Talk to a Botulism Lawyer

By Botulism lawyer Tony Coveny

We may all recall our grandmothers, mothers, or neighbors canning vegetables and fruits and recall the constant reminder that if the process is not done correctly, the unlucky eater could die of botulism.    The key was in the preparation of the food, and that remains the constant in botulism cases.  Botulism is preventable though proper food handling and processing techniques, and because those have been adopted by nearly every manufacturer who provides food in the US, botulism is rare.  But on occasion, proper food handling and manufacturing procedures are bent, and cases of botulism are uncovered.

Botulism Outbreaks

Botulism is, luckily, rare.  There are usually about 145 cases of botulism in the U.S. annually, this according to the CDC:

  1. 15% and from eating infected
  2. 65% are known as infant botulism
  3. 20% come form an infected wound

The food borne illnesses, or food poisoning,  are rarely from large outbreaks, though they do happen.  One such outbreak was in 2007, when investigators identified botulism in hotdog chili sause that was canned by Castleberry's Food Company.  In that outbreak there aere three reported cases in Texas, three in Ohio, and two in Indiana.

As for wound infected botulism, most of these cases are related to black-tar heroin use.  For more information, contact a Botulism lawyer here.

Contact a Food Poisoning Lawyer:  Click HERE or

call or text 281-851-9343

Food Poisoning Lawyer

Food poisoning lawyer Tony Coveny, Ph.D., is licensed in the state of Texas, with his office in Katy, Texas.

27715 Guthrie Ridge Lane, Katy TX 77494.  phone 281-851-9343.  A Texas food poisoning lawyer who has worked with victims of Vibrio, Shigella,  salmonella, listeria, E. coli, Hepatitis, and other pathogens . If you need a Salmonella Lawyer, aListeria Lawyer, an E. coli Lawyer, a Hepatitis Lawyer, or any other food poisoning lawyer, give me a call!