Friday, September 17, 2010

Outbreaks and Alerts: September 17, 2010

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

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United States
  • Lincoln County, OR. September 15th: A public health advisory has been issued for ocean waters at D River State Park Beach in Lincoln County, due to higher than normal levels of bacteria.
  • Elizabeth City, NC. September 15th: State environmental health officials issued a swimming advisory for the Pasquotank River for both Camden and Pasquotank counties after 500,000 gallons of raw sewage spilled into the river because of the rupture of a 30-inch pipe.
  • Dimock, PA. September 16th: A private consulting firm says it found toxic chemicals in the drinking water of a Pennsylvania community already dealing with methane contamination from natural gas drilling.
  • San Diego County, CA. September 16th: The Department of Environmental Health (DEH) has issued a Boil Water Order and Public Notification for the Potrero County Park water system, effective immediately, because the drinking water system has tested positive for total coliform bacteria.
  • Flathead, MT. September 16th: A dog is near death due to liver failure after coming into contact with water in Middle Foy's Lake. The water probably was contaminated with toxic blue-green algae.
  • Apache, OK. September 16th: Schools were closed and authorities urged residents to boil water or use bottled water after a sample from one of the town's six wells tested positive for E. coli.
  • Steamboat Springs, CO. September 17th: County officials closed Sweet Pea Market and Café, revoking the restaurant's license, due to several health violations and public safety concerns. Among other infractions, food was stored beneath an unshielded sewer line in a basement walk-in cooler that had been installed without a permit.
  • Lincoln, NE. September 17th: The state has issued a health alert for toxic blue-green algae at Merritt Reservoir in Cherry County and Kirkman’s Cove near Humboldt. Alerts continue for Swan Creek Lake 5A near Tobias, Willow Creek Lake near Pierce and Red Willow Reservoir near McCook.

  • London, UK. September 16th: Health Protection Branch reports on a hepatitis A outbreak in an Orthodox Jewish community in London during July 2010. Two primary cases, imported from Israel, and three secondary cases triggered the immunization of more than 900 contacts using active hepatitis A vaccine to avert a wider outbreak.
  • Campania, Italy. September 16th: Two suspected cases of botulism are thought to be linked to the consumption of La Rossa - Broccoli alla napoletana FRIJARIELLI in olio di semi de girasole, packed in 1 Kg glass jars. The suspect food has been recalled by Mediterranea s.r.l.
  • Kazakhstan, Russia. September 17th: Seven people, including one university lecturer and students living in a university dorm have been hospitalized with acute intestinal infection. The university's dining hall has been closed.
  • United Kingdom. September 17th: Health Protection Agency and Health Protection Scotland report that an outbreak of Salmonella under investigation may be linked to raw bean sprouts. Fifty-six cases have been reported in England since the start of August and 15 cases in Scotland. The Food Standards Agency reminds consumers to cook bean sprouts thoroughly. The cases under investigation are definitely not related to a separate outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium DT8, which has been linked to duck eggs.

Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands
  • New Delhi, India. September 16th: A study carried out by the Centre for Science and Environment has revealed that most brands of honey sold in India contain varying amounts of antibiotics.
  • Beijing, China. September 16th: In a new crackdown on malefactors, China has warned that the worst offenders of food safety rules would get the death penalty. The government notice also promised harsher punishment for government officials who accept bribes and protect or ignore food safety offenders.
  • Henan, China. September 16th: More than 20 students at Henan University of Industry remain hospitalized with stomachaches, diarrhea and vomiting after eating dinner in the No. 1 students dining hall. Dozens of students were sent to local hospitals for checkups.
  • Pune, India. September 16th: The National Institute of Virology warns consumers that most water purifiers sold across India do not completely eliminate water-borne viruses, such as hepatitis E.
  • Bambang, Philippines. September 16th: Sixty-four children and 21 adults have been treated at the Nueva Vizcaya Provincial Hospital for symptoms of acute food poisoning. The victims attended the medical, dental and surgical mission of Representative Carlos Padilla, organized to celebrate Padilla's 66th birthday. The pork meat served at the celebration is thought to be behind the outbreak.
  • Harare, Zimbabwe, September 16th: A pupil at Chishawasha Primary School died and several others fell ill following suspected food poisoning. The students were part of a group that went on a school trip to Masvingo.
  • Uvira, Congo. September 16th: More than 70 cases of cholera have been recorded in Uvira during August and September. One person, a resident of the village of Kibongo, has died.
  • Libreville, Gabon. September 17th: An outbreak of diarrhea and vomiting has broken out in the province of Ogooue. No deaths have been reported, and the number of affected people has not been released. The outbreak is suspected to be due to contaminated water in the Mvoung river.
  • Réunion (France). September 17th: Health authorities have received reports of five cases of hepatitis A in the last week. Three of the victims became ill while traveling; the other two were infected on Réunion. There have been 12 cases reported so far this year – roughly double the number during all of 2009.
  • Pakistan. September 17th: A Chinese rescue team has confirmed five cases of dysentery in the flood-devastated region.

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