Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Outbreaks and Alerts: July 21, 2010

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

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  • Yarmouth County, NS. July 21: The Department of Health Promotion and Protection has closed Ellenwood Lake Beach in Yarmouth County to swimming because of high levels of bacteria.
  • Ottawa, ON. July 21: Health Canada reminds Canadians of the importance of food safety while using microwave ovens, including safe procedures and correct internal temperatures for defrosting, cooking and/or reheating foods.

  • Glasgow, Scotland. July 20: A total of 83 people – 63 guests and 20 staff members of the Glasgow Hilton Hotel – have shown symptoms of gastroenteritis since last Wednesday. The illnesses have been confirmed to have been due to Norovirus infections.
  • Germany. July 16: Milchwerk J├Ąger, the German company at the center of the blue mozzarella cheese scare in Europe in recent weeks has been given the all-clear by the European Commission to begin producing its cheese again.

Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands
  • Beijing, China. July 21: Food poisoning in China killed 56 and sickened 2,452 others between January and May this year, the Ministry of Health said here Wednesday. Twenty-seven people, were killed by food poisoning at home, according to information posted on the Ministry of Health website.
  • Johannesburg, South Africa. July 21: A team of health experts have found that a highly virulent outbreak of gastroenteritis was the cause of death of six babies at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital earlier this year. Six babies died at the hospital on 18 and 19 May after contracting diarrhea.
  • Taveng District, Cambodia. July 21: Two churches and a non-governmental organization working with the authorities have effectively stemmed a cholera outbreak in a district of Cambodia. The outbreak was part of a wider epidemic in the North-eastern Ratanakiri province that has resulted in at least 36 deaths since April.
  • Jaipur, India. July 21: Over 200 people have been taken ill after allegedly drinking contaminated water in a number of villages in Kotputli area of the district. Suspected cases of water contamination were first reported in villages of Bansur area of Alwar district on July 16.
  • Karachi, Pakistan. July 21: Nearly 60 people, most of them children, were rushed to hospital on Monday after a gastroenteritis outbreak in Karachi’s Landhi area.

Australia and New Zealand
  • Queensland, Australia. July 21: Cougar Energy was forced to shut down its pilot Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) plant near Kingaroy last week after the Government learned that traces of cancer-causing chemicals benzene and toluene were found in bores on the site. Biosecurity Queensland has banned farmers on nearby properties from selling their cattle for slaughter. It has also told property owners not to let animals drink bore water while testing for contamination continued.

Latin America and the Caribbean
  • San Pedro, Mexico. July 21: An outbreak of hepatitis A among children in urban areas has been detected in recent days. There is no indication yet of the number of cases or the specific source of the outbreak.
  • Havana, Cuba. July 21: More than 400 inmates of Guanajay prison in Havana, suffered from diarrhea after eating bad soy picadillo. Symptoms included: diarrhea with fever, chills, stomach pains, vomiting and nausea.

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