Salmonella Cases Linked to Cantaloupe and Mangoes Hold
Steady at 330 – California and Kentucky Hardest Hit
Source : http://www.marlerblog.com/legal-cases/salmonella-cases-linked-to-cantaloupe-and-mangoes-hold-steady-at-330-california-and-kentucky-hardest-hit/
By Bill Marler (Sep 08, 2012)
We got through the week with no increase in Salmonella cases.
The CDC and FDA have reported that a total of 204 persons infected
with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium have been reported
from 22 states linked to cantaloupe grown in Indiana. The number
of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Alabama (13),
Arkansas (5), California (2), Florida (1), Georgia (4), Illinois
(24), Indiana (22), Iowa (8), Kentucky (63), Massachusetts (2),
Michigan (6), Minnesota (5), Mississippi (5), Missouri (13), New
Jersey (2), North Carolina (5), Ohio (5), Pennsylvania (2), South
Carolina (3), Tennessee (8), Texas (2), and Wisconsin (4). 78 ill
persons have been hospitalized. Two deaths have been reported in
The CDC, FDA and Canadian Health Authorities have reported that
a total of 126 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella
Braenderup have been reported from 16 states and Canada linked to
mangoes grown in Mexico. The number of ill persons identified in
each state is as follows: California (80), Delaware (1), Hawaii
(3), Idaho (1), Illinois (1), Louisiana (1), Maine (1), Michigan
(1), Montana (1), Nebraska (1), New Jersey (1), New York (3), Oregon
(1), Texas (2), Washington (6), and Wisconsin (1). 21 people in
Canada have been reported ill. 25 ill persons have been hospitalized.
No deaths have been reported.
The states with Salmonella illnesses caused by both cantaloupes
and mangoes are in purple and are: Illinois (25), Wisconsin (5),
New Jersey (3), Texas (4), California (82) and Michigan (7).
2012 Salmonella Outbreaks and Lawsuits - Marler Clark Update
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/foodborne-illness-outbreaks/2012-salmonella-outbreaks-and-lawsuits---marler-clark-update/
By Bill Marler (Sep 09, 2012)
Taco Bell (a.k.a., Nationwide Mexican Fast Food Restaurant A)
A widely distributed contaminated food product might cause illnesses
in a specific region and across the United States. As of January
19, 2012, a total of 68 individuals infected with the outbreak strain
of Salmonella Enteritidis have been reported from 10 states. The
number of ill persons identified in each state with the outbreak
strain was as follows: Texas (43), Oklahoma (16), Kansas (2), Iowa
(1), Michigan (1), Missouri (1), Nebraska (1), New Mexico (1), Ohio
(1), and Tennessee (1).
Moon Marine Raw Scraped Tuna
A total of 425 individuals infected with the outbreak strains of
Salmonella Bareilly or Salmonella Nchanga were reported from 28
states and the District of Columbia. Four hundred and ten persons
infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Bareilly were reported
from 28 states and the District of Columbia. The number of ill persons
infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Bareilly identified
in each state was as follows: Alabama (5), Arkansas (1), California
(8), Colorado (1), Connecticut (11), District of Columbia (3), Florida
(1), Georgia (20), Illinois (30) Indiana (1), Kansas (1), Louisiana
(6), Massachusetts (36), Maryland (39), Missouri (4), Mississippi
(2), Nebraska (2), New Hampshire (2), New Jersey (39), New York
(62), North Carolina (12), Pennsylvania (37), Rhode Island (6),
South Carolina (5), Tennessee (4), Texas (14), Virginia (33), Vermont
(1), and Wisconsin (24). Fifteen persons infected with the outbreak
strain of Salmonella Nchanga were reported from 7 states. The number
of ill persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Nchanga
identified in each state was as follows: Georgia (2), Maryland (1),
New Jersey (3), New York (6), Texas (1), Virginia (1), and Wisconsin
Cargill Ground Beef
A total of 40 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella
Enteritidis have been reported from 8 states. The number of ill
persons identified in each state is as follows: Maine (1), Massachusetts
(3), New Hampshire (2), New York (18), Rhode Island (2), Vermont
(11), Virginia (2), and West Virginia (1).
Chamberlain Farms Cantaloupe
A total of 204 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella
Typhimurium have been reported from 22 states. The number of ill
persons identified in each state is as follows: Alabama (13), Arkansas
(5), California (2), Florida (1), Georgia (4), Illinois (24), Indiana
(22), Iowa (8), Kentucky (63), Massachusetts (2), Michigan (6),
Minnesota (5), Mississippi (5), Missouri (13), New Jersey (2), North
Carolina (5), Ohio (5), Pennsylvania (2), South Carolina (3), Tennessee
(8), Texas (2), and Wisconsin (4).
A total of 105 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella
Braenderup have been reported to PulseNet from 16 states since July
1, 2012. The number of ill persons identified in each state is as
follows: California (80), Delaware (1), Hawaii (3), Idaho (1), Illinois
(1), Louisiana (1), Maine (1), Michigan (1), Montana (1), Nebraska
(1), New Jersey (1), New York (3), Oregon (1), Texas (2), Washington
(6), and Wisconsin (1).
Organic Pastures Raw Milk Recall Retail Distribution List
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/organic-pastures-raw-milk-recall-retail-distribution-list-released/
By Carla Gillespie (Sep 09, 2012)
The California Department of Health has released the list of retailers
that received Organic Pastures raw milk products being recalled
for possible contamination with Campylobacter. A recall of
raw milk, raw skim milk (non-fat) and raw cream produced by the
Fresno County diary was announced by the California Department of
Agriculture on September 6 after Campylobacter was detected in a
sample of raw cream during routine testing.
The recalled products have a code date of ”SEP 13.”
No illnesses have been reported at this time.
The lengthy retail distribution list includes Mollie Stones, Mothers
Market, New Leaf and Sprouts stores. Consumers who have purchased
these products should not consume them. Laws governing the sale
of raw milk vary from state to state. In California, retail sales
of raw milk are legal as long as producers are regularly tested.
Campylobacter is a pathogen that can cause serious, sometimes life-threatening
illness. Symptoms of a Campylobacter infection, called campylobacteriosis,
include diarrhea, cramping and fever developing two to five days
after exposure and lasting up to a week. In some cases there can
be serious complications. For example, if the infection spreads
to the bloodstream it can be life-threatening. And, in some cases,
a condition called Guillain-Barre syndrome can develop. Campylobacteriosis
is the leading trigger of Guillain-Barre which causes paralysis
that is usually short term.
This is the second recall for Organic Pastures this year.
A May recall of raw milk products from the farm was linked to a
Campylobacter outbreak that sickened 10 people, most of whom were
children. Organic Pastures is the nation’s largest producer
of raw milk products.
McDonald's Employee at Walmart in San Diego Diagnosed with
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/mcdonalds-employee-at-walmart-in-san-diego-diagnosed-with-hepatitis-a/
By Linda Larsen (Sep 08, 2012)
The San Diego County News Center is reporting that an employee at
the McDonald’s restaurant inside the Walmart store at 3412
College Avenue in San Diego has tested positive for Hepatitis A.
Anyone who ate there on August 25, 26, 27, and 30, 2012 between
10:00 am and 11:00 pm may have been exposed to the virus.
Dr. Wilma Wooten, County Public Health office, said, “we encourage
anyone who has not had the Hepatitis A vaccine and those who may
have been exposed to contact their healthcare provider.” Walmart
shoppers who did not eat at the restaurant are not at risk for exposure
to the virus. Anyone who has been immunized with the Hepatitis A
vaccine or has had the disease is protected from the virus.
The early signs of the disease appear two to seven weeks after exposure.
They include mild fever, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea,
dark urine, light color stools, pain in the upper right abdomen,
and yellowness of the skin and eyes.
Anyone who may have been exposed should get the vaccination within
two weeks of exposure. The Hepatitis A vaccine is the preventative
treatment for healthy people who are 12 months to 40 years old.
Immune globulin is used for people 41 to 59 years old, anyone over
the age of 60, is less than 12 months old, and anyone with chronic
If you think you were exposed to the virus and don’t have
medical insurance, you can go to the HHSA Central Region Public
Health Center at 5202 University Avenue in San Diego to get a vaccination
for minimal or no cost. For more information, call the HHSA Epidemiology
Program at 619-692-8499.
Norovirus Outbreak on Princess Cruise Line Ship Dawn Princess
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/norovirus-outbreak-on-princess-cruise-line-ship-dawn-princess/
By Linda Larsen (Sep 09, 2012)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued
an investigation update on the Norovirus outbreak on the Dawn Princess
cruise ship. The ship of part of the Princess Cruises cruise line.
Voyage dates were August 21 to September 13, 2012. The number of
passengers on the ship is 1,778, and crew members is 851. The passengers
who reported being ill numbered 114, or 6.41%, and the number of
crew who reported being ill numbered 11, or 1.29%. The symptoms
of vomiting and diarrhea are consistent with Norovirus infection.
The crew on the ship have taken preventative action according to
their outbreak prevention and response plan. They have increased
cleaning and disinfection procedures, made announcements to notify
passengers of the outbreak, and encouraged reporting and hygiene.
They have also collected stool specimens from the ill persons, tested
them using a rapid Norovirus test, and made reports to the VSP two
times a day.
Norovirus, also known as Norwalk Virus, causes viral gastroenteritis.
The only more common virus is the common cold. Any place where people
are confined, such as nursing homes, hospitals, and cruise ships,
are the most common places for Norovirus infections. Person-to-person
transmission is very easy and any ill person who doesn’t wash
their hands can touch a surface and contaminate it.
Two CDC Vessel Sanitation Program environmental health officers
will board the ship when it arrives in Juneau, Alaska on September
7, 2012 to conduct an environmental health assessment. They will
also evaluate the outbreak and the crew’s response to it.
The ship will most likely be “super sanitized” in Seward,
Texas Issues Fish Consumption Advisory for Mercury
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/texas-issues-fish-consumption-advisory-for-mercury/
By Linda Larsen (Sep 07, 2012)
The Texas Department of State Health Services has issued an advisory
warning consumers not to consume blue marlin caught in all waters
off the Texas coast. And they said that women of childbearing age
and children under the age of 12 should not eat swordfish caught
off the Texas coast. The fish have unsafe levels of mercury.
Testing revealed that the fish from the northwestern Gulf of Mexico
had mercury at concentrations above the DSHS health guidelines of
no more than 0.7 mg/kg. The blue marlin mercury levels were 12.9
mg/kg, more than 18 times the recommended limit. The levels in swordfish
were 1.18 mg/kg, more than 1.6 times the recommended levels.
Mercury is a naturally occurring element that can cause birth defects
and harm to the central nervous system. Symptoms of prolonged exposure
include tingling of the skin, loss of coordination, visual and hearing
impairment and slurred speech.
Most recreational fishermen catch and release these fish, but some
is eaten. In addition to this advisory, public health officials
have said that kind mackerel greater than 43 inches in length not
be eaten. For king mackerel between 37 to 43 inches, women of childbearing
age and children under the age of 12 should eat it no more than
once a month. One serving is 8 ounces of fish.
Salmonella, Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and Reactive
Arthritis Sites Updated
Source : http://www.marlerblog.com/case-news/salmonella-irritable-bowel-syndrome-ibs-and-reactive-arthritis-sites-updated/
By Bill Marler (Sep 07, 2012)
As I said last week, shortly after I resolved the 1996 Odwalla E.
coli O157:H7 outbreak on behalf of five kids that suffered Hemolytic
Uremic Syndrome (HUS), and long before Google became synonymous
with searching on the Internet, we had compiled more information
about that nasty bug and a few others, and their frightening and
potentially deadly impact, than anyone outside a few major teaching
After I started Marler Clark in 1998 along with Bruce Clark, Denis
Stearns and Andy Weisbecker, E. coli O157:H7 cases, along with Salmonella
cases, both arrived at our offices at a far too frequent rate.
For those who do not recall Prodigy or Netscape, in 1998 few could
envision that the Internet would be more than a place to park what
in essence were online Word documents. So, in 2000 we placed
everything we knew about Salmonella on www.about-salmonella.com
and two of the infection’s complications – Irritable
bowel syndrome (IBS), www.about-irritablebowelsyndrome.com and Reactive
Arthritis, www.about-reactive-arthritis.com on the web.
The idea was when someone called you would direct them to the site
to read for themselves about the dangers of Salmonella, IBS and
RA. I think few at the time – certainly not me –
thought that people would search for these things for themselves
by using “search terms.”
Over the years the sites have gone through substantive changes –
both in content quality and look. We have had the opportunity
and honor to work with the best infectious disease experts in the
world, and the patients they cared for. In the last month
both sites have undergone edited content and an updated look –
here are the highlights:
Salmonella is a bacterium that causes one of the most common enteric
(intestinal) infections in the United States – salmonellosis.
It has long been said that, in 1885, pioneering American veterinary
scientist, Daniel E. Salmon, discovered the first strain of Salmonella.
Actually, Theobald Smith, research-assistant to Dr. Salmon, discovered
the first strain of Salmonella–Salmonella cholerae suis.
But, being the person in charge, Dr. Salmon received credit for
the discovery. In any case, today the number of known strains
of the bacteria totals over two thousand.
The term Salmonella refers to a group or family of bacteria that
variously cause illness in humans. Salmonella serotype typhimurium
and Salmonella serotype Enteritidis are the most common in the United
States. Salmonella javiana is the fifth most common serotype
in the United States and accounted for 3.4% of Salmonella isolates
reported to the CDC during 2002.
•An Introduction to Salmonella Bacteria
•The Incidence of Salmonella Infections
•The Prevalence of Salmonella in Food and Elsewhere
•Transmission of Salmonella Bacteria
•Symptoms of Salmonella Infection
•Complications of Salmonella Infection
•Diagnosis of Salmonella Infection
•Treatment for Salmonella Infection
•Antimicrobial Resistance in Salmonella Bacteria
•The Economic Impact of Salmonella Infections
•Real Life Impact of Salmonella Infection
•Preventing Salmonella Infection
•Foods Recalled for Salmonella Contamination
•Consumer Resources for Salmonella
Reactive Arthritis – Reiter’s Syndrome
Reactive Arthritis refers to a group of arthritic diseases that
includes a subset formally known as “Reiter’s Syndrome.”
The old term Reiter’s syndrome has fallen into disfavor.
In recent medical literature Reiter’s Syndrome is simply referred
to as Reactive Arthritis which may or may not be accompanied by
•An Introduction to Reactive Arthritis
•Symptoms of Reactive Arthritis
•Diagnosis of Reactive Arthritis
•Treatment for Reactive Arthritis
•Preventing Reactive Arthritis
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is one disorder in a spectrum of
common functional gastrointestinal disorders. Symptoms of IBS can
include constipation, diarrhea, alternating diarrhea and constipation,
abdominal pain, urgency, bloating, straining at stools, and a sense
of incomplete evacuation.
•An Introduction to Irritable Bowel Syndrome
•What Causes IBS?
•Dyspepsia & Gastroparesis
•How is IBS Diagnosed?
•Treatment for IBS
Readers, I would love your feedback. Also, feel free to use
the information on all our “about” sites – a link
back would be nice.
CDC Releases Cryptosporidiosis Surveillance Report
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/cdc-releases-cryptosporidiosis-surveillance-report/
By Kathy Will (Sep 06, 2012)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released
its 2009 – 2010 surveillance summary for Cryptosporidium in
the United States. The Cryptosporidium protozoa causes the gastrointestinal
illness cryptosporidiosis. During the reporting period, fifty state
and two metropolitan public health agencies (District of Columbia
and New York City) reported cases of the disease through the CDC’s
National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System.
In 2009, 7,656 confirmed and probable cases were reported. That
increased to 8,951 confirmed and probable cases in 2010. The cases
were most frequently reported in children aged 1 to 9 years, followed
by adults aged 25 to 29 years. The cryptosporidiosis rate in the
Midwest was 1.3 to 2.9 times greater than other regions in 2009
and 1.8 to 4.6 times greater than other regions in 2010. The peak
illness onset is in early summer through early fall, which coincide
with the summer recreational water season. The increase in cases
may reflect the increased use of swimming pools, water parks, and
interactive fountains by young children.
Transmission is from fecal contamination in the water, by contact
with infected animals, and by ingesting contaminated food. The infectious
dose is very low. Swimmers can swallow water that contains the parasite
or the oocyst, which is infectious immediately after excretion in
feces. For instance, there was an outbreak of Cryptosporidium at
two Minnesota water parks in April 2012.
The parasite is evolving, with multiple species that can infect
human beings. C. hominis exists in a human-t0-human transmission
cycle, while C. parvum infects humans and rumaninants (cows). Multiple
subtypes of those species can infect humans.
Cryptosporidiosis is characterized by weight loss, abdominal pain,
diarrhea, anorexia, fatigue, joint pain, headache, fever, and vomiting.
Young children, pregnant women, and those with severely weakened
immune systems can develop dehydration and other serious or life-threatening
The oocyst is very tolerant to chlorine, which means that swimmers
must practice healthy behavior to control the spread of this disease.
Do not swim if you have diarrhea and, if you are diagnosed with
cryptosporidiosis, stay out of the water and avoid serving food
to others for at least 2 weeks following recovery.
USDA Challenges Back to School Safety Smarts
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/usda-challenges-back-to-school-safety-smarts/
By Kathy Will (Sep 05, 2012)
The USDA is challenging consumers to a quiz on food safety as part
of its back to school initiative. The quiz is based on actual calls
to the USDA’s Meat and Poultry Hotline. The hotline, 1-888-674-6854,
is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and is staffed
Under Secretary for Food Safety Elisabeth Hagen said, “preventing
foodborne illness is part of USDA’s public health mission,
but one in six Americans is still expected to get sick from the
food they eat this year. Back to school time provides an excellent
opportunity for the whole family to brush up on food safety steps.”
One of the questions is about microwave safety. Many consumers don’t
know about “standing time” in microwave cooking directions.
That’s not a direction you can ignore, because food continues
to cook after the microwave stops cooking. Standing time lets food
come up to a safe internal temperature to destroy any bacteria that
may be present. Plus, eating food the second it comes out of the
microwave oven can lead to burns, since the food continues to heat
for a few minutes.
Do you like to eat leftover pizza? Another question is about refrigerating
foods. Even if it isn’t topped with perishable meats or cheeses,
any leftover pizza must still be refrigerated. Bacteria grow easily
in foods that are rich in carbohydrates, such as pizza crust, cooked
pasta, and cooked rice. So these and any other leftover foods should
be refrigerated within two hours after cooking. Uncooked vegetables
are the only food safe to leave at room temperature for more than
Take the quiz on the USDA site and learn more. And check out more
information at Food Safe Families, the first-even national multimedia
food safety campaign launched by the government to reduce food poisoning
in this country. Graphic courtesy of FoodSafety.gov.
Mango Salmonella Recall Expands
Source : http://www.foodproductdesign.com/news/2012/08/mangoes-recalled-over-salmonella-fears.aspx
By Food Product Design (Sep 04, 2012)
California Department of Public Health officials are investigating
73 illnesses potentially linked to mangoes that may be contaminated
with Salmonella Braenderup bacteria, according to Food Safety News.
The investigation comes just days after the Canadian Food Inspection
Agency (CFIA) and North American Produce Sales announced a recall
of Daniella brand mangoes imported from Mexico after several illnesses
were linked to consuming the fruit.
"Preliminary data indicate that mango consumption is associated
with an increase in the number of Salmonella Braenderup cases in
California," said CDPH spokesman Matt Conens. "As of today,
there are 73 cases with this outbreak strain that have been confirmed."
On Aug. 24, CFIA recalled Daniella brand mangoes from Mexico that
were sold as individual fruit with a sticker bearing PLU# 4959.
The mangoes were sold at various retail stores between July 12 and
Aug. 24, 2012. The mangoes may have been distributed in British
Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Northwest Territories,
Nunavut and Yukon. The mangoes also sold to U.S. retailers.
On Aug. 28, Splendid Products issued a recall of Daniella brand
mangoes from Mexico distributed throughout the United States. Specific
retailers, including Giant Foods in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia
and Washington D.C.; Stop & Shop in Connecticut, Massachusetts,
New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island; and Food
Lion, Harveys and Reid’s across the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic
states, followed with their own recalls.
•9/1: F&S Produce Co., Inc. issued a recall of Delish!,
Garden Highway, Garden Pure, Signature Café, Trader Joe’s,
and generic products, distributed to Connecticut, Delaware, Florida,
Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York,
Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia and Washington D.C. retailers,
including Genuardi’s, Safeway, Trader Joe’s and Wal-Mart.
•8/31: Winn-Dixie issued a voluntary recall of Tropical Salsa,
Fruit Burst and Island Medley cut fruit produced by Renaissance
Food Group and sold in stores in central and south Florida.
•8/31: Ready Pac announced a voluntary recall of fresh-cut
fruit products containing mangoes distributed to Alaska, Alabama,
Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware,
Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky,
Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri,
Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey,
New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma,
Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota,
Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Washington
D.C., Wisconsin, Wyoming and Canada, including products distributed
to Starbucks, Wal-Mart and Wawa.
•8/31: Pacific Coast Fruit Company issued a recall of deli-style
fruit salads distributed to retailers in retailer groceries in Oregon,
Washington, Idaho and Alaska.
•8/30: World Foods initiated a voluntary recall of cut-fruit
and salsa products distributed to retailers in central and south
•8/30: Taylor Farms New Jersey issued a recall of various mango
products distributed to Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
•8/29: Spokane Produce Inc. initiated a voluntarily recall
of pineapple/mango pico de gallo products distributed to Idaho,
Montana and Washington.
Safety Specialist 1 - Ohio
09/07. Food Safety Manager – Jessup, MD
09/07. Food Safety- Hygienist – Itasca, IL
09/06. Food Safety Specialist – Salisbury, NC
09/06. Food Safety Security Training Coordinator – UC Davis
09/06. HACCP Technician - Jessup, MD
09/04. Sanitation/Food Safety – New Orleans, LA
09/04. Food Safety Specialist - Harahan, LA
09/04. Microbial Food Safety Of Hort. Foods – UC Davis
Cholera in Sierra Leone – update
Source : http://www.who.int/csr/don/2012_09_08/en/index.html
By WHO(Sep 08, 2012)
The Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS) is closely working
with partners at the national and international levels to step up
response to the cholera outbreak that has affected Sierra Leone
since the beginning of the year.
As of 5 September 2012, a total of 16,360 cases including 255 deaths
with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 1.6% have been reported from
12 out of 13 districts. The Western area of the country where the
capital city of Freetown is located, reported more than 60% of all
The President of Sierra Leone has declared the cholera epidemic
a ‘’humanitarian crisis’’. A high level
Presidential Cholera Task Force was established to oversee coordination,
mobilization of resources and guide the response. A multi-sectoral
approach to the response has been adopted involving the MOHS and
other line ministries such as Finance, Information and Communication,
and local governments together with partners and stakeholders.
With support from national and international partners and donors,
including UNICEF, Oxfam, British Red Cross, Save the Children, Care,
Concern MSF, DFID, OCHA, IRC, and WHO, the MOHS is scaling up the
response particularly in the areas of coordination of the overall
response, surveillance and case management.
A Cholera Control and Command Center (C4) has been established at
the WHO Country Office in Freetown to strengthen the coordination,
and support the MOHS and other health providers to implement activities
related to Cholera Preparedness and Response Operation Plan (CPROP),
in order to bring the epidemic under control as soon as possible.
The C4 will also provide information to guide the decision-making
of the national task force.
Emphasis is being placed on early detection of cases and timely
provision of treatment at the district levels, in order to reduce
deaths. Cholera cases are managed in Cholera treatment units (CTUs)
and where there are no established CTUs, emphasis is placed on designating
specific areas within the health facilities for isolation purposes.
WHO through the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN)
has provided experienced case management and laboratory experts
from the International Center for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh
(ICDDR,B) to build capacity among health care workers and laboratory
technicians in case management and laboratory diagnosis.
Laboratories at the national level are being supplied with appropriate
materials and reagents to collect, transport and analyze laboratory
specimens. Laboratory confirmation is important, particularly in
new areas experiencing the cholera outbreak.
There are ongoing community interventions on cholera prevention
and control activities. More than 200 traditional healers have been
oriented on cholera. Community meetings are organized in Freetown
to raise awareness to avoid drinking water from unprotected water
sources. Text messages are also being used to channel information
to the public by telephone companies. UNICEF and other partners
are supporting water, sanitation and hygiene activities.
With respect to this event, WHO does not recommend that any travel
or trade restrictions be applied to Sierra Leone.
Salmonella Outbreak Linked To Pet Hedgehogs
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/salmonella-outbreak-linked-to-pet-hedgehogs/
By Carla Gillespie (Sep 07, 2012)
A trend in keeping African pygmy hedgehogs, which are about the
size of hamsters, as pets is the likely driver of a multi-state
Salmonella outbreak, according to the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC). Fourteen people in six states have become
ill after having contact with hedgehogs. Three people have been
Most of the case patients interviewed so far specifically mentioned
contact with the tiny animals in the week before becoming ill. And
most of them are children under the age of 10. By state the case
count is as follows: Alabama (1), Indiana (1), Michigan (3), Minnesota
(2), Ohio (2), and Washington (5).
The CDC is collaborating with state public health and agriculture
officials and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal
and Plant Health Inspection Service, Animal Care Program (USDA-APHIS-AC)
to investigate this outbreak of a rare strain of SalmonellaTyphimurium.
Those who became ill purchase the hedgehogs from multiple breeders
in different states.
Salmonella is a bacteria that causes illness when ingested. Hedgehogs
and other animals shed these germs in their droppings which can
contaminate their bodies spreading the germs where they live and
roam. Thoroughly washing hands with soap and water right after touching
hedgehogs or anything they touched is the best way to prevent illness.
The CDC recommends that adults supervise hand washing for young
Symptoms of Salmonella include abdominal cramps diarrhea and fever
which usually develop 12 to 72 hours after exposure and last up
to a week. Anyone who develops these symptoms after handling a hedgehog
should see a health care provider.
E. coli Outbreak at Saginaw Correctional Facility in Michigan
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/e-coli-outbreak-at-saginaw-correctional-facility-in-michigan/
By Linda Larsen (Sep 06, 2012)
John C. Cordell, Public Information Specialist with the Michigan
Department of Corrections told Food Poisoning Bulletin that there
is an outbreak of STEC, or Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, at the
Saginaw Correctional Facility. The facility is quarantined with
no prisoner transfers, no group programming or prisoner visitation.
So far, 89 prisoners and seven staff have been confirmed ill with
the E. coli bacteria. Four prisoners have been hospitalized, but
there are no cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome. The hospitalizations
have been for dehydration.
Most cases occurred from August 27 to August 30, 2012. The outbreak
may be over, since no cases were identified on September 3 or 4,
2012. The facility may be able to return to normal operations at
the end of this week, since the incubation period for this type
of bacteria is 3 to 10 days. The facility is also monitoring prisoners
who transferred out of the prison to other correctional facilities
in the days before the outbreak.
Public health officials are looking at all avenues of transmission,
focusing on food and food preparation. The Saginaw County Health
Department, the Michigan Department of Community Health, and the
Michigan Department of Agriculture are assisting with the investigation.
STEC bacteria produce Shiga toxins, which go into the bloodstream
and destroy red blood cells, causing anemia. The toxins can target
the kidneys, which causes hemolytic uremic syndrome that can destroy
that organ. The central nervous system can also be affected by Shiga
Cholera in West Africa, food safety center in Minnesota
Source : http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/fs/food-disease/news/sep0612foodscan.html
By CDIRAP(Sep 06, 2012)
Groups warn rains will worsen West Africa's
A cholera epidemic in West Africa will worsen as rains and flooding
promote the spread of the disease, the World Health Organization
(WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) warned yesterday
in a statement. So far 55,289 cholera cases in 15 countries have
been reported, with the disease spreading fast in Mano River Basin
countries of Guinea and Sierra Leone, those along the Congo River,
and western Niger. The groups said 1,109 deaths have been reported.
Some of the hardest hit countries are experiencing unusually heavy
rains, which have flooded shantytowns in some urban areas and contributed
to the spread of the disease. The number of cases in West and Central
Africa this year is 34% higher than in the same period last year,
and health officials expect cases to climb during the rainy season.
Luis Sambo, MD, the WHO's regional director for Africa, said in
the statement, "Governments need to declare an emergency early
so as to benefit from the necessary technical and other support
of partners. Just as crucial are better surveillance and cross-border
collaboration between health authorities."
Sep 5 UNICEF press release
CDC picks Minnesota for regional Food Safety
Center of Excellence
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has chosen
the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the University of Minnesota's
School of Public Health (SPH) to set up one of five regional Food
Safety Centers of Excellence for detecting and responding to foodborne
disease outbreaks, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., announced yesterday.
The CDC awarded the MDH $199,970 to help set up the center, which
will provide other states with support and training for conducting
food safety surveillance and outbreak investigations, Klobuchar
said in a press release. "Minnesota has been a leader in the
effort to improve food safety, and today's announcement means that
our state will continue to be on the front lines in the fight to
keep consumers safe," Klobuchar said in the release. She and
Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., authored the portion of the FDA Food
Safety Modernization Act, enacted in 2011, that established the
Food Safety Centers of Excellence. Since then, Klobuchar said, she
has worked with CDC Director Thomas Frieden, MD, MPH, to ensure
that the five centers receive funds to begin operating. "Because
outbreak investigations are the only way to identify new food safety
hazards, the Centers will have an important role to play in rapidly
identifying and effectively responding to these new threats,"
Craig Hedberg, PhD, of the SPH's Division of Environmental Health
Sciences, commented in the press release.
Sep 5 Klobuchar press release
E. coli Outbreak In New York Expands
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/e-coli-outbreak-in-new-york-expands/
By Carla Gillespie (Sep 05, 2012)
The source of an unusual E. coli outbreak that has sickened 10 people
in the Finger Lakes region of New York since early August has yet
to be identified, Joan Ellison, Livingston County’s director
of public health told Food Poisoning Bulletin today.
Nine Livingston County residents and one person from Onondaga County
have developed E. coli infections over the last month. Three of
them had cases so severe that they were hospitalized, but have since
been released. Lab tests that use a genetic “fingerprinting”
method called pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) have
confirmed that eight of the cases patients were sickened by the
same strain of E.coli 0157:H7. Test results for two case patients
from Livingston County are pending.
While public health authorities have been able to identify the outbreak
strain, they have not yet been able to identify a specific source
of the outbreak. “There is a thread that connects them, but
not a rope that ties them all together,” Ellison said. “It’s
really hard to say where it’s coming from.”
The outbreak began in early August with a cluster of seven cases
in Livingston County. Then, last week, new cases popped up, including
one in a second county. “It’s kind of odd that we’re
adding them sporadically,” Ellison said.
Symptoms of an E. coli infection include vomiting, bloody diarrhea
and abdominal cramps which usually develop three to four days
after exposure and last up to a week. Those most at risk are
young children, seniors, people who take antacids on a regular basis
and anyone whose immune system is compromised. The victims of this
outbreak range in age from 10 to 75.
Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo –
Source : http://www.who.int/csr/don/2012_09_05/en/index.html
By WHO(Sep 05, 2012)
The Ministry of Health (MoH) of the Democratic Republic of Congo
(DRC) continues to work with partners to control the outbreak of
Ebola haemorrhagic fever. As of 3 September 2012, a total of 28
(eight confirmed, six probable, and 14 suspected) cases including
14 deaths had been reported from Haut-Uélé district
in Province Orientale. The reported cases and deaths have occurred
in two health zones – 18 cases, including 11 deaths in Isiro
and 10 cases, including three deaths in Viadana. The fatal cases
in Isiro include three health-care workers.
All alerts have been investigated and so far Ebola has not been
reported from outside Isiro and Viadana health zones. Initial samples
were tested by Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) in Entebbe,
Uganda, and were confirmed for Ebola virus (Ebola subtype Bundibugyo).
Subsequent samples have been confirmed by the field laboratory in
Isiro that has been established by the US Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC). A National Task Force convened by the Congolese
Ministry of Health is working with several partners including WHO,
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), International Federation
of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and CDC to control
WHO has deployed epidemiologists and logisticians from the Regional
Office for Africa (including the Inter-country Support Team) and
WHO headquarters to support the MoH and is working closely with
partners in the areas of coordination, surveillance, epidemiology,
logistics for outbreak response, public information and social mobilization.
Support from the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN),
includes deployment of an anthropologist to assist with a clearer
understanding of the social and anthropological issues among the
affected population that could impact the on-going response efforts.
Control activities that are being carried out include active case
finding and contact tracing, enhanced surveillance, case management,
public information and social mobilization and reinforcing infection
With respect to this event, WHO does not recommend that any travel
or trade restrictions be applied to Democratic Republic of Congo.
There is currently no indication that this Ebola outbreak is related
to the recent Ebola outbreak in Kibaale district of Uganda.
General information on Ebola subtypes
There are five identified subtypes of Ebola virus. The subtypes
have been named after the location they have been first detected
in Ebola outbreaks. Three subtypes of the five have been associated
with large Ebola haemorrhagic fever (EHF) outbreaks in Africa. Ebola-Zaire,
Ebola-Sudan and Ebola-Bundibugyo. EHF is a febrile haemorrhagic
illness which causes death in 25-90% of all cases. The Ebola Reston
species, found in the Philippines, can infect humans, but no illness
or death in humans has been reported to date.