Monday, August 30, 2010

Outbreaks and Alerts: August 30, 2010

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

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United States
  • Asheville, NC. August 30: Health officials have closed Lake Powhatan to swimming and fishing to prevent the spread of Cryptosporidium. Buncombe County Health Department reports three confirmed and one suspect case of cryptosporidiosis. All of the victims reported swimming in the lake this month. One of the patients required hospitalization. Water in the lake is off-limits until at least September 12th.

  • Copenhagen, Denmark. August 27th: A greengrocer located at Frederikssundsvej 11 was closed by authorities due to several health infractions. These included: rat droppings, eggs and yoghurt stored at room temperature, and sale of foreign groceries without statutory Danish labeling. Denmark's Food Authority advises consumers who purchased products at this location to discard them.
  • Plymouth, England. August 29th: The public has been warned to stay out of the water along Plymouth's seafront until further notice, due to a sewage spill. Hoe's Tinside open-air lido is still safe.
  • Lancashire, England. August 30th: The public is being advised to avoid contact with the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, due to the presence of toxic blue-green algae in the water. Swimming in or drinking the water can be hazardous to people and fatal to dogs and other animals.

Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands
  • Panchkula, India. August 25th: More than 43 new cases of typhoid have been reported in a one-week period at the General Hospital, Sector 6. Forty-five cases were reported the previous week. Cases have originated in both urban and rural areas, and reports of diarrhea also are on the rise.
  • Nowa District, Afghanistan. August 28th: Health officials and aid organizations report that a cholera epidemic that struck 130 or more people in the Nowa district of Ghazni province is now under control. New cases have declined to an average of three per day.
  • Kashmir, India. August 28th: More than 1,100 people in Doda and an additional 500 or more people in Banihal are reported to be suffering from gastroenteritis after drinking or using water that is contaminated with fecal matter. At least one resident of Doda has died.
  • Mengcheng County, China. August 29th: At least 30 people have been stricken by cholera in recent weeks. Consumption of unsanitary food purchased from street vendors is thought to be the source of the infections.
  • Hanoi, Vietnam. August 30th: Counterfeit cosmetic products were confiscated during raids on 30 Hanoi shops last week. Products were labeled with brands such as Gucci, Clinique and Lancome.

Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Playa Grande, Venezuela. August 29th: At least 6,000 vacationers were evacuated after 125 swimmers complained of respiratory problems and other symptoms due to "environmental irritants." Unofficial word is that contaminated water is being discharged into the sea, because the town's sewage treatment plant has been broken for some time. This information was not confirmed by authorities.

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