Friday, May 28, 2010

Outbreaks and Alerts: May 28, 2010

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

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United States
  • Baton Rouge, LA. May 26: Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals announced the closure of oyster harvesting bed Area 28 as a response to the BP oil spill in the Gulf.
  • Frankfort, KY. May 26: Two beef cattle in a Fleming County herd have tested positive for bovine tuberculosis. Authorities are waiting on the results of tests on a third animal. None of the three animals entered the food supply.
  • Idaho. May 26: Five cases of salmonellosis are under investigation in the state and may be linked to the multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Newport that has been blamed on contaminated alfalfa sprouts.
  • Richmond, VA. May 27: Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is investigating cases of mercury exposure linked to a homemade “skin lightening” cream imported from Mexico. Ten people, including both children and adults, have shown laboratory evidence of exposure to excess mercury and are being evaluated for health effects from the cream.
  • Atlanta, GA. May 27: CDC reports that J.H. Caldwell and Sons Inc.'s raw alfalfa sprouts contaminated with Salmonella Newport are responsible for 28 confirmed cases of salmonellosis in 10 states.
  • Silver Spring, MD. May 27: FDA warns consumers not to purchase or use a product called “Arrow Brand Medicated Oil & Embrocation,” also labeled as “Aceite Medicinal La Flecha (Spanish) or “箭嘜驅風油 (Mandarin).” The product is potentially toxic and contains two substances, methyl salicylate and camphor, which are poisonous when ingested. Preliminary tests indicate that it may also contain a third toxic ingredient – diethylene glycol (antifreeze).
  • Olympia, WA. May 27: Two recent infections with toxin-producing E. coli O157) have been identified in Washington residents who drank raw, unpasteurized milk produced by Jackie’s Jersey Milk in Whatcom County.
  • Mississippi. May 28: Botulism Associated with the Consumption of Home Canned Beets—A Case Report
  • Baton Rouge, LA. May 28: The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals announced that it will reopen oyster harvesting area 9, 19, 21, 22 and 23.

  • Salt Spring Island, BC. May 26: Norovirus-like illness has been reported on Salt Spring, and the Vancouver Island Health Authority is warning residents to pay special attention to careful hand-washing in order to limit the spread of the virus.

Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands
  • Hong Kong. May 27: The Centre for Health Protection reports that a 10-month old girl living in Tuen Mun has been confirmed to be infected with E. coli O157:H7. The child, who is a family member of the girl who was confirmed with E. coli O157:H7 bacteria on May 20, is the third person to be confirmed infected with E. coli O157:H7 in Hong Kong during 2010.
  • Hong Kong. May 27: The Department of Health (DH) alerts the public to the potential rare occurrences of severe liver injury in patients taking weight-loss medicines containing orlistat; namely, Xenical, Zerocal and Alli.
  • Turkana South District, Kenya. May 27: Two people are said to have died of cholera and "scores of others" have been admitted to hospital in the district. The outbreak is blamed on storm-related flooding and poor hygiene.
  • Dahod, India. May 28: Fourteen villages in the area have been affected by cholera. More than 80 people have been admitted to the community health centre for treatment.
  • Navosa, Fiji. May 28: The Health Ministry has sent a notice to hotel owners in the coastal areas to take precaution after the state of Public Health Emergency was imposed yesterday due to an outbreak of typhoid in Navosa. As of today, there are 20 confirmed cases of the disease; and additional 100 people are suspected of being infected with Salmonella Typhi.

Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Aguascalientes, Mexico. May 27: The Institute of Health in Aguascalientes (ISEA), reported that it has detected an outbreak of Hepatitis A involving 19 children in the municipality of Calvillo. All of the infected children attend the Adolfo Lopez Mateos primary school.
  • Chiapas, Mexico. May 27: At least ten Central American migrants who are detained at the immigration station Siglo XXI National Migration Institute (INM) in Tapachula, fell seriously ill in an outbreak of Salmonella detected from on 19 May.
  • Chile, May 27: After two months of speculation, the Public Health Institute (ISP) confirmed that the norovirus outbreak that affected about 30,000 people in the region had its origin in the treated wastewater that Bayes SA sold to farmers in La Chimba.

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