Thursday, October 21, 2010

Outbreaks and Alerts: October 21, 2010

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

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United States
  • San Diego County, CA. October 18-20: The County issued Boil Water Orders for the Warner Unified School District and Camp Barrett on October 18th after coliforms were found in their drinking water systems. The Warner Order was lifted on October 20th.
  • Springfield, IL. October 19th: The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is advising residents who obtain their drinking water from private wells in the Marquette Heights (Tazewell County) area to test their water for possible groundwater contamination. Routine testing of Marquette Heights community water supply wells by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) indicates that 1,1,1-trichloroethane could be present in the area’s private wells.
  • Carlsbad, CA. October 20th: Signs warning of sewage contamination are posted at Carlsbad State Beach access points from 1,000 feet north and south of Encina Creek Outlet as a result of a 2,310 gallon sewage spill from a main at 6200 Avenida Encinas in Carlsbad.

  • Ottawa, ON. October 19th: The Government of Canada has appealed to industry members to voluntarily stop production, importation and sale of children's jewelery made with cadmium or cadmium-containing materials.

  • West Fife, UK. October 19th: Four children who attend a West Fife nursery have been confirmed to be suffering from a Salmonella Group B infection. None of the children are seriously ill. The source of the infections has not yet been found.
  • Tabasalu, Estonia. October 19th: Thirteen children and one assistant teacher at a Tabasalu nursery school have been infected with Salmonella in this small town outside of Tallinn. Five of the children were hospitalized. It is thought that the source of the infections may have been a batch of scrambled eggs.
  • Reykjavik, Iceland. October 20th: A Lufthansa flight on its way from New York to Munich landed in Iceland early Wednesday to disembark five passengers who were reportedly suffering from food poisoning. The plane took off 3 1/2 hours later, leaving the sick passengers behind.
  • Gorlovka, Russia. October 20th: Four people – three children and a 30-year old woman – were treated for food poisoning in an emergency room after eating cake purchased at a Gorlovka store.
  • Glasgow, Scotland. October 21st: A ward at Gartnavel Hospital remains closed following the deaths of two patients suffering from Clostridium difficile. Five other patients on the ward at Gartnavel General Hospital have been diagnosed with the same microbe.

Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands
  • Puducherry, India. October 15th: Twenty students at a government higher secondary school complained of nausea shortly after drinking milk supplied under a free breakfast program. It was alleged that a lizard had fallen into the milk.
  • Guangxi, China. October 16th: Two camellia oil firms in China's Guangxi – Molaoye Food Co. Ltd. and Jinchawang Oil Co. Ltd. – were ordered to suspend production after their products were found to contain excessive benzo(a)pyrene. The companies are working to recall the questionable products.
  • Taiwan. October 18th: On September 30, 2010, the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (Taiwan CDC) announced an imported case of shigellosis. The is a 40-year-old male who travelled to Changsha City, Hunan Province, China with a tour group from September 16 to 23. On September 20, the case subsequently developed symptoms such as fever, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Three other members of the tour group had symptoms of diarrhea during the trip. Epidemiological investigations point to drinks consumed during the trip as a possible source of the infections.
  • Henan, China. October 18th: Twelve members of a family were diagnosed with thallium poisoning. Four of the victims are in critical condition. Tainted baking soda is suspected as the source of the poisoning. The victims are undergoing dialysis to help remove the thallium from their blood.
  • Beijing, China. October 18th: The government has released a draft regulation that would require manufacturers of baby formula in China to test each batch of raw materials and their finished products for melamine.
  • Hong Kong. October 18th: The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) has conducted a targeted surveillance on the microbiological quality of Chinese cold dishes to assess the safety of these food items. The CFS announced that the test results were all satisfactory.
  • Hong Kong. October 18th: The Department of Health reminds the public not to buy or consume unlabeled slimming products from the Internet as they may contain undeclared western medicines dangerous to health.
  • Nepal. October 20th: Two persons have died of diarrhea in the Dang district and dozens more are suffering from diarrhea that started during the Dashain festival. Two people also have died in the Dolakha district and more than 30 have developed diarrhea.
  • Sangli, India. October 20th: Two people died of food poisoning after they consumed chapattis made of bajra flour that was mixed with pesticides.
  • Awutu Bawjiase, Ghana. October 20th: The Awutu Bawjiase Health Centre has recorded 16 cases of diarrhea in the past two weeks.
  • Beijing, China. October 21st: The poor quality of natural water resources and devastating pollution threaten the safety of drinking water for millions of inhabitants across vast areas of rural China, according to a report released by the Ministry of Water Resources and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
  • Dhaka, Bangladesh. October 21st: In the past week, thousands of cases of diarrhea were admitted to the International Center for Diarrhea Disease and Research in Dhaka. Approximately 500 patients suffering from severe diarrhea are being seen daily.

Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Berbice, Guyana. October 18th: Nearly 100 guests at a retreat hosted by the 'B' Division Community Policing Group were hospitalized with food poisoning soon after eating lunch.
  • Spoiled meat, which was prepared as part of the meal, is suspected to be the cause of the poisoning. Five people are in custody.
  • Haiti. October 21st: At least 40 people have died in the northern and eastern parts of Haiti as a result of a diarrhea outbreak. More than 200 people have been suffering from diarrhea, the source of which is not yet known.

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