Monday, August 9, 2010

Outbreaks and Alerts: August 9, 2010

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

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United States
  • Jackson County, OR. August 9: A health advisory prompted by high algae levels found in Fish Lake located 30 miles east of Medford, was issued after water monitoring confirmed the presence of potentially toxic blue-green algae in Fish Lake.

Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands
  • Chengdu, China. August 4: A 51-year old male passenger on a flight from Macau complained on arrival of symptoms that included watery diarrhea, muscle aches, chills and joint pain. The patient was transferred to Chengdu First People's Hospital for diagnosis and treatment, and was released the same evening after antibiotic and rehydration therapy.
  • Hong Kong. August 6: The Centre for Health Protection is reporting a confirmed case of E. coli O157:H7 in a 13-month-old girl living in Tuen Mun. This is the fifth confirmed case in Hong Kong this year.
  • Kotido, Uganda. August 6: Seven people died of cholera last week following an outbreak in Nangodia village in Panyangara sub-county, Kotido district. An additional 546 people were hospitalized at Kotido health centre with symptoms of cholera, but later discharged.
  • Cape Town, South Africa. August 6: Forty graduating students and teachers at Vista High School fell ill with suspected food poisoning after attending a matric ball at the Cape Sun Hotel in Strand Street. Environmental health inspectors are investigating the incident.
  • Hong Kong, August 7: Centre for Health Protection (CHP) is investigating a confirmed case of cholera involving a 66-year-old woman who was a food collateral of a cholera case (index case) confirmed on August 5. CHP's investigation revealed that the woman shared common meals with the index case on August 5 in four food premises during the incubation period. Both of them are now being isolated at Princess Margaret Hospital for treatment. They are in a stable condition. Neither woman had a history of recent travel. The most recent victim lives in Sham Shiu Po and her home contacts have no symptom of cholera.
  • Macheng, China. August 7: A 72-year-old Taoist practitioner died Saturday after being treated for suspected food poisoning which also sickened 11 others at a Taoist temple in the central China city of Macheng, Hubei Province. Eleven others also complained of food poisoning symptoms; four of them – in critical condition – were transferred to the provincial capital for treatment. Police have launched an investigation into the incident.
  • Dongqi, China. August 7: More than 80 villagers have sought medication as of 7:00 PM Sunday after eating at a banquet following a funeral Saturday in southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
  • Beijing, China. August 8: Last week, 1019 cases of dysentery and 1,997 other cases of infectious diarrhea were reported in the city.
  • Beijing, China. August 9: Parents and doctors in central China fear that hormones in milk powder they fed their infant daughters have led the babies to prematurely develop breasts, state media reported Monday. Medical tests indicated the levels of hormones in three girls, ranging in age from four to 15 months and who were fed the same baby formula, exceeded those of the average adult woman. China has no regulations against feeding hormones to livestock and the hormones could have entered the food chain when farmers reared the cattle. The suspect milk is still on store shelves.
  • Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. August 9: City health inspectors report that untested health foods and baby milk products are being sold in the city because of a lack of staff and financial resources to carry out the requisite retail inspections. Problems include a lack of expiration date and an absence of Country of Origin labeling, as well as an absence of Vietnamese labeling on the packaging.
  • Nepalgunj, Nepal. August 9: An eighth person has died of cholera while undergoing treatment for the disease at the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital.
  • Thimphu, Bhutan. August 9: Twenty-eight people have been admitted to hospital and 217 have been reported ill with typhoid fever in the last two months. The outbreak has been traced to unsafe drinking water.

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