Friday, May 15, 2009

Diarrhea Digest: May 15, 2009

Diarrhea Digest is an eFoodAlert regular feature that presents a weekly snapshot of foodborne and person-to-person gastroenteritis outbreaks from around the world.

Each week, we'll survey the globe and discover what all of us have in common – a shared susceptibility to the bacteria and viruses that cause gastrointestinal disease.

  • Congo, May 8 – An outbreak of "bloody diarrhea" has claimed the lives of seven people and sickened at least 286 others in a single village.
  • Uganda, May 6 – Fifty-three new cases have been added to the tally in an outbreak of Hepatitis E virus that has killed 156 people since it was first detected in 2007. Nearly 10,000 people have been infected in the past two years by this virus, which is spread via contaminated water.

  • India, May 10 – Puri sabji, served at a social gathering in Moresalashka village, was blamed for a sudden outbreak of vomiting and diarrhea that affected 50 participants.
  • India, May 11 – 150 participants at a religious festival in Mandava village suffered a similar fate to the Moresalashka villagers. Contaminated food is suspected in this incident, also.
  • Nepal, May 12 – Thirty security personnel at Tribhuvan International Airport were afflicted suddenly with stomach pain, nausea and vomiting while on duty, throwing security arrangements into disarray. Contaminated food is the suspected culprit. In an unrelated incident, more than 60 residents of a village in mid-western Nepal were suddenly stricken with acute headaches, fever and bloody vomiting, possibly due to drinking contaminated water. 
  • Pakistan, May 14 – Refugees – especially the children – living in crowded conditions in Yar Hussein Camp and other relief camps are at risk of severe outbreaks of diarrhea as temperatures soar above 40ÂșC. Supplies of safe drinking water are limited, and health care facilities inadequate. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has called for international assistance.
  • Vietnam, May 13 – Several provinces have reported outbreaks of acute diarrhea, blamed on contaminated water and produce.

Europe, Including Russia
  • Ukraine, Apr 23 – Fourteen children from a single pre-school were taken to hospital after suffering symptoms of gastroenteritis. Six of the children were hospitalized, while the other 8 were treated and released. Health authorities suspect a virus. Norovirus, perhaps?
  • Ireland, May 8 – Eleven and five staff members at the St Fionnan's Community Nursing Unit in Co. Mayo developed symptoms of gastroenteritis, suspected of being food related. One of the stricken patients, an 89-year old resident who suffered severe vomiting and diarrhea, has died. The source of the outbreak is under investigation.
  • Russia, May 13 – Hepatitis A has infected 130 people in the town of Ufa since late April. People who were exposed to the virus are being vaccinated, and there have been no fatalities.
  • Denmark & Sweden, May 14 – According to a report in this week's Eurosurveillance, Hepatitis E Virus is endemic in the population of these two Scandinavian countries. Hepatitis E, like its alphabetic cousin Hepatitis A, is transmitted by the fecal-oral route. Contaminated water, contaminated food, or an infected food handler are the most common sources of Hepatitis E. Most, but not all, infections with Hepatitis E are contracted during travel in Asia and Africa. In Sweden and Denmark, there is a high degree of genetic similarity between human and swine Hepatitis E viruses, suggesting that direct contact with pigs may be another route for infection.

Western Hemisphere
  • Canada, April 27 – Patrons of a Tim Horton's outlet in Newmarket, Ontario learned that they may have been exposed to Hepatitis A virus, after two employees tested positive for Hepatitis A. Customers who visited the Newmarket Tim Horton's between April 2 and April 22 were invited to attend a vaccination clinic.
  • Canada, May 1 – The Public Health Agency of Canada repeated its earlier warnings of an outbreak of Salmonella Carrau. The outbreak strain has been confirmed in 33 patients spread over eight provinces. The most recent victim began to display symptoms on March 31st. PHAC has been unable to determined the source of the uncommon serotype of Salmonella, but adds that cases also are being investigated in the United States.
  • USA, April 21 – Customers of an Albertson's supermarket in Littleton, Colorado learned that a produce worker who handled a variety of fruits and vegetables between April 6th and April 19 has tested positive for Hepatitis A virus. The local health department suggested that anyone who ate produce from the Littleton Albertson's during the identified risk window should consider vaccination.
  • USA, May 12 – The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs reminded consumers of the risks associated with eating raw oysters, due to the risk that they may be contaminated with Vibrio vulnificus. In 2008, Florida investigated seven cases of V. vulnificus illness linked to raw oysters; three of the victims died. There already has been one Florida fatality in 2009 that was traced to consumption of V. vulnificus-contaminated raw oysters. Vibrio vulnificus is a naturally occurring microbe in the waters of the Gulf coast.


Please join us again next week for another edition of Diarrhea Digest.

If you would like to receive automatic email alerts for all new articles posted on eFoodAlert, please submit your request using the link on our sidebar.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.