Monday, May 24, 2010

Outbreaks and Alerts: May 24, 2010

A daily digest of international outbreaks, alerts and food safety news

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United States
  • Baton Rouge, LA. May 23: Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals announced today the closure, effective immediately, of additional oyster harvesting bed areas west of the Mississippi, including areas 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22 and 23 as a precautionary response to the BP oil spill in the Gulf.

Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands
  • Ben Tre, Vietnam. May 22: Three new cases of cholera have been reported in Ben Tre province, bringing the total in the Mekong Delta province to 25 cases so far this year.
  • Tamil Nadu, India. May 22: One woman is dead and 26 more people are suffering from "viral dysentery" after drinking contaminated water from an open well that had not been chlorinated for several months. Ten of the victims are children.
  • Guangdong, China. May 22: Twenty-five people in two cities are suffering from paralytic shellfish poisoning after preparing and eating fresh scallops at home.
  • Ipoh, Malaysia. May 23: Food contaminated with Streptococcus has been blamed for an illness outbreak that affected 179 pupils of SJK (C) Wah Keow school in Langkap. The students, who had eaten at a school canteen, complained of a variety of symptoms, including: abdominal pains, vomiting, fever, cough, influenza, diarrhoea, headache, dizziness and sore throat. Streptococcus was recovered from samples of the canteen food, and from the hands of a food handler who worked in the canteen.
  • Gujarat, India. May 23: Two separate food poisoning incidents have sickened at least 64 people who attended marriage parties in two different districts.

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