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A few weeks later, the woman died eating healthy pomegranate seeds


Damage to the liver from contaminated fruit

The media are currently reporting an extremely rare case. A 64-year-old woman has died after eating pomegranate seeds, according to Australian health officials. However, death did not occur immediately after consumption, but only weeks later. How did this tragic event come about? Health authorities in Australia are alarmed.

Very healthy - infections are rare

Pomegranate seeds are rich in potassium, iron and polyphenols. Secondary plant substances act as so-called antioxidants against free oxygen radicals, which can damage the cells. Some studies indicated that consumption can protect against cancer. But that very fruit was fatal to a patient. A 64-year-old woman became infected with hepatitis A pathogens by eating a pack of pomegranate seeds. The death is in the context of frozen “Creative Gourmet” pomegranate seeds. The kernels were recalled nationwide in April because of evidence of hepatitis A pathogens. In the course of the disease, at least 24 people who had previously eaten the product fell ill. In this context, the Australian health authorities speak of a “rare and tragic case”.

"The death of the woman is the only death related to the nationwide recalled product," said Health Minister Paddy Phillips. Another 23 patients would already be "on the mend". The doctors expect a full recovery, as the minister emphasized. However, the population was asked to look in the refrigerators to check for suspicious pomegranate seeds. Because according to the authorities, despite the recall, around 2,000 packs of the contaminated cores were sold and thus sold. At the moment, no further infections and illnesses are expected. According to doctors, it takes between 15 and 50 days for the first symptoms to appear after infection.

Classic symptoms of hepatitis A

The classic symptoms of hepatitis A are jaundice (jaundice), fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, and light-colored stool. The virus can be transmitted to other people through direct contact with hepatitis A sufferers. It can also get into the human body through the ingestion of contaminated food or beverages. In most cases, the disease is mild and usually heals completely. "It is only in very rare cases that the course is severe," says the minister. Older people in particular are affected.

Many do not notice the disease

Around half a million people in Germany suffer from hepatitis caused by viruses. Only a third of those affected suffer from typical jaundice with progressive liver inflammation. A third noticed flu-like symptoms and another third had no symptoms at all. The latter was initially pleasant for the patients, but at the same time particularly tricky. The late consequences of chronic viral hepatitis include liver cancer and cirrhosis. People can also get infected during sex or through contaminated foods such as mussels. (sb)

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