Sunday, June 13, 2010

Outbreaks and Alerts: June 13, 2010

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

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United States
  • Olympia, WA. June 10: A sharp, fast rise in the levels of Paralytic Shellfish Poison, a dangerous marine biotoxin, has led state health officials to warn against eating shellfish taken from beaches in Clallam and Whatcom counties.
  • Baton Rouge, LA. June 11: Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals partially reopens oyster harvesting Area 17.
  • Baton Rouge, LA. June 11: Louisiana farm-raised catfish are freshwater fish and untouched by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill affecting the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Lakewood, CO. June 11: Confirmatory tests show four cows in a Colorado dairy herd have tested positive for bovine tuberculosis. Meat from the infected animals did not enter the food chain.
  • Gibbon, MN. June 11: State health officials have identified three additional cases of E. coli O157:H7 illness in Minnesotans linked to consumption of raw milk or other dairy products from the Hartmann Dairy Farm in Gibbon, bringing the total number of cases to eight. Twenty-eight environmental and animal samples obtained by the Minnesota Department of Health from the Hartmann farm have now tested positive for E. coli O157:H7. Twenty-six samples had the same DNA fingerprint as the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7.

  • Norway. June 11: The National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research (NIFES) concludes that content of undesirable substances in Norwegian farmed fish shows low levels of substances in various species, and a decline in total dioxins and dioxin-like PCB in farmed salmon.
  • Edinburgh, Scotland. June 12: Doctors are awaiting test results on two possible new cases of Clostridium difficile, following an outbreak of the potentially lethal bacteria in a West Coast hospital.

Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands
  • Hanoi, Vietnam. June 8: The Ministry of Health reports that the strain of Vibrio cholerae prevalent in Vietnam has increased in toxicity since 2007. So far this year, there have been 69 confirmed cases of cholera in nine cities and provinces.
  • Navosa, Fiji. June 11: Almost 190 people were diagnosed with typhoid symptoms and have been treated with antibiotics and more than 4,000 people over the age of two have been vaccinated.
  • Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. June 11: The Saudi FDA participated in a raid on a drug store in Riyadh District after customers complained of expired medicines and infant formula products. The drug store has been closed, and the license holder has been notified of pending disciplinary action.
  • Thailand/Burma border area. June 11: Eighty-nine refugees in Mae La Refugee Camp have been infected with cholera in two weeks and the number of cases is increasing. The camp is the largest of seven refugee camps that are located along the Thai/Burma border.
  • Taipei, Taiwan. June 11: Police have arrested 12 people for allegedly making fake red-label rice wine and Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor, confiscating more than 9,000 bottles of counterfeit brand-name beverages.

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