Sunday, September 12, 2010

Outbreaks and Alerts: September 12, 2010

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

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United States
  • Norton, KS. September 10th: The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has issued a boil water advisory for the City of Norton, due to a break in the water main from the water treatment plant to town. Residents of Norton should boil water vigorously for one minute prior to use, and use only boiled water for drinking, brushing teeth, diluting fruit juices, and all other food preparation activities.
  • Lincoln, NE. September 10th: Nebraska has issued a health alert for toxic blue-green algae at Swan Creek Lake 5A near Tobias. Alerts continue for Willow Creek Lake and Red Willow Reservoir.
  • Lane County, OR. September 10th: A health advisory has been issued for Blue River Reservoir in Willamette National Forest due to elevated levels of toxic blue-green algae.
  • Lane County, OR. September 10th: A health advisory has been issued for Dorena Reservoir due to elevated levels of toxic blue-green algae.
  • MD, NJ, NY, PA, VA. September 10th: Wegmans stops sale of Green Pea and 2009 Holiday reusable bags after preliminary testing suggests that elevated levels of lead may be present in these bag designs. Wegmans requests that consumers who wish to dispose of these two designs should return them to the service desk for safe disposal and replacement to avoid environmental contamination.
  • Asheville, NC. September 11th: Lake Powhatan is expected to be reopened to swimming and fishing on September 12th, as no new cases of cryptosporidiosis have been reported since the lake was closed on August 27th.


  • Yevpatoria, Ukraine. September 12th: Sixty-three children have been hospitalized with food poisoning in this Crimean city. The children fell ill Friday after eating macaroni with meat and eggs for lunch in the school cafeteria. In all, 167 children ate in the school cafeteria. Ukraine's Health Ministry is investigating the incident.
  • Moscow, Russia. September 12th: At least 15 migrant construction workers became ill on Saturday evening a few hours after eating dinner. Thirteen of the 15 were hospitalized with a preliminary diagnosis of food poisoning.

Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands
  • Hong Kong. September 10th: The Centre for Health Protection has confirmed a case of E. coli O157:H7 in a six-month old boy living in Mong Kok. This represents the sixth confirmed case of E. coli O157:H7 so far this year. The child, who has no history of travel during the incubation perid, is in stable condition in Queen Elizabeth Hospital. None of the boy's household contacts have shown any symptoms of the infection.
  • Hong Kong. September 10th: The Department of Health is investigating a report of suspected Chinese herbal medicine poisoning involving a 55-year old woman. The woman was admitted to hospital on August 31 and was discharged September 8th. She obtained Chinese herbs from the licensed Chinese herbal medicines retailer American Ginseng Co. at North Point after visiting a Chinese medicine practitioner.

Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Yucatan, Mexico. September 11th: The Secretary of Health reports that 36 cases of Hepatitis A were diagnosed during July and August in the municipality of Hopelchén.
  • Dosquebradas, Colombia. September 11th: More than 100 students and one staff member at the Bosques de la Acuarela school became ill after eating a snack supplied by the Institute of Family Welfare through a food operator. Some of the 102 affected children were treated with IV fluids to prevent dehydration. The Ministry of Health is investigating the incident, and has taken samples of the products supplied by the ICBF, the cafeteria food and the drinking water for lab analysis.

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