Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Outbreaks and Alerts: October 13, 2010

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

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United States
  • Philadelphia, PA. October 12th: More than half (53%) of the schools in the Philadelphia School District failed their most recent health inspection, according to the state Department of Agriculture. Sixty-six percent of charter schools were out of compliance.
  • Jackson County, OR. October 12th: A health advisory has been issued for Willow Lake, due to the presence of high algae levels in the water. Swallowing or inhaling water droplets should be avoided, as well as skin contact with water by humans and animals.

Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands
  • Hong Kong. October 12th: The Centre for Health Protection is investigating a suspected food poisoning outbreak involving six men and five women, aged between 26 and 60. The eleven individuals developed abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea and diarrhea about 2 to 12 hours after dining at a restaurant in Hung Hom on October 10th. None have been hospitalized, although one of the eleven sought medical attention.
  • Amboim, Angola. October 12th: Ninety-four people suffering from symptoms of cholera were seen at a local hospital since last Friday. Five people have died. A team from the provincial department of public health has arrived to assist in caring for the cholera victims.
  • Singapore. October 13th: The Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore reports that the agency's food safety surveillance program has determined that Indomie instant noodles sold in Singapore do not contain para-hydroxy benzoates. AVA undertook the survey after receiving reports of the detection of this chemical in Indomie instant noodles in Taiwan.
  • Beijing, China. October 13th: China's Ministry of Education has ordered schools to enhance food safety management and has stressed accountability in the case of food poisoning incidents. The Ministry issued a circular which said, among other things, that officials in schools that experience food poisoning incidents due to dereliction of duty will be "seriously dealt with."
  • Taipei, Taiwan. October 13th: The Taiwan Department of Health reports a 4th case of cholera so far this year. The victim developed the disease after eating raw fish. No outbreak clusters have been recorded. All four cases were sporadic.

Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Loreto, Mexico. October 12th: So far this year, 150 cases of hepatitis A have been recorded in the town of Loreto and three surrounding communities. The outbreak is blamed on lack of basic sanitation and contaminated drinking water.

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