Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Outbreaks and Alerts: May 26, 2010

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

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United States
  • Silver Spring, MD. May 25: FDA warns consumers and health care professionals about a possible increased risk of fractures of the hip, wrist, and spine with high doses or long-term use of a class of medications called proton pump inhibitors. The product labeling will be changed to describe this possible increased risk.
  • Athens, OH. May 25: Casa Lopez on East State Street in Athens is reported to be the source of an outbreak of Salmonella that sickened at least 41 people earlier this month. An additional 15 cases are still awaiting confirming lab test results.
  • San Ramon, CA. May 26: A Lucky’s grocery store in San Ramon, California, apologized Sunday for selling bags of almonds that contained live and dead insects.
  • Puerto Rico. May 26: An outbreak of gastroenteritis, manifesting as vomiting and diarrhea, has affected at least 17 municipalities in the Commonwealth since March 31st.
  • Washington, DC. May 26: According to a congressional memo, FDA is investigating more than 700 consumer complaints involving children's medicines recalled by Johnson & Johnson last month.
  • Silver Spring, MD. May 26: FDA advises consumers and health care professionals about potential rare occurrences of severe liver injury in patients taking the weight-loss medication orlistat, marketed as Xenical and Alli. The FDA has approved a revised label for the prescription drug Xenical. The agency is working with the manufacturer of Alli on label revisions to reflect this rare occurrence.

  • Montreal, QC. May 25: A Montreal study finds heterotrophic bacteria counts, in more than 70 percent of bottled water samples, exceed the recommended limits specified by the United States Pharmacopeia (USP). Researchers from Ccrest Laboratories report their results May 25 at the 110th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in San Diego.
  • Burnaby, BC. May 26: Unauthorized health products that may pose a serious health risk were seized by Health Canada at YVS (Your Vitamin Store) in Metrotown, Burnaby, BC. The seized products include: DHEA, Free Form Carnitine, Acetyl-L-Carnitine, Hydro Lean, Xtra Lean, Yohimbe Extract, Hemo Rage Black, Lipo 6 Black, Lipo 6 Hers Black or Red Rockets.

  • Isla Cristina, Spain. May 26: About 35 of the 40 invited guests at a restaurant meal to celebrate a Communion became ill with food poisoning symptoms about 24-72 hours after the celebration.
  • Cadiz, Spain. May 26: Twenty-two passengers and three crew members of the Independence of the Seas remain isolated in their cabins due to Norovirus. Almost all of the cruise ship's 3,840 passengers were evacuated to facilitate a thorough disinfection of the ship while it was in port. The ship left port on schedule.

Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands
  • Banaskantha, India. May 25: At least 122 people, including 50 women and four children, were taken ill after they ate a sweet dish in a marriage function in a village in Mehsana district, health officials said here today.

Australia and New Zealand
  • Wellington, New Zealand. May 26: The New Zealand Food Safety Authority has launched Kitchen Crimes Week (24-28 May), to educate consumers on food safety in the home.
  • Melbourne, Australia. May 26: A highly virulent strain of Clostridium difficile has been found in three patients at Melbourne's Epworth Hospital. These are the first reported cases of hypervirulent Clostridium difficile in the eastern part of Australia, and represent only the second incident nationwide.

Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Durango, Mexico. May 26: The Epidemiología de Servicios de Salud de Durango has noted a substantial increase in the number of reported cases of diarrhea, with approximately 2,500 new cases reported weekly. So far this year, 21,878 cases have been treated, mostly involving children under 5 years of age.
  • Granada, Nicaragua. May 26: Epidemiologist Dr. Gloria Poveda reports a 94% increase in diarrhea cases, principally in the municipalities of Granada, Diriá and Diriomo.


  1. Hi -re Clostridium difficile in Australia. Not the first case...this is in fact the first report of hypervirulent C.diff on the eastern coast of Australia - first hypervirulent case reported in Western Australia by Riley et al in 2009 (MJA 190 (12) 706 - 708.

  2. @HB: Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I have amended my description appropriately.



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