Monday, November 22, 2010

Outbreaks and Alerts: November 22, 2010

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

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United States
  • Boston, MA. November 22nd: Boston University has been hit by an outbreak of Norovirus, which has spread across campus. Residents of Warren Towers have been hardest hit.
  • Woodstock, IL. November 22nd: Residents of three long-term care facilities have developed infections with Norovirus, according the the McHenry County health department. Fourteen cases have been confirmed; five of the 129 outbreak victims have been hospitalized.

  • UK. November 22nd: Cases of Norovirus – aka the "winter vomiting bug" – have been on the rise. In the first two weeks of November there were 12 outbreaks in hospitals in England and Wales, leading to nine wards being closed for a period of time.
  • Karelia, Russia. November 22nd: An outbreak of acute gastroenteritis has affected 22 students attending Lyceum No. 13 in Petrozavodsk.

Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands
  • Seoul, Korea. November 19th: The Korea Food and Drug Administration has cited 140 kimchi and ingredient makers for poor sanitary conditions. More than 1,000 companies were inspected in a joint operation with local governments.
  • Tokyo, Japan. November 21st: A surge in gastroenteritis cases linked to the norovirus has hit Japan in recent weeks. Children aged 7 or younger account for at least 70% of the cases.
  • Beijing, China. November 22nd: Authorities in central China are searching for a batch of dairy products containing high levels of melamine. The Xiangfan city government has asked all local businesses to look for 50 packages of a corn-flavoured dairy drink. The company that made the drinks being sought in Hubei had bought milk powder as a raw material from a supplier in another province without knowing it was tainted with melamine.

Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Port-au-Prince, Haiti. November 22nd: Cholera has killed 1,344 people in Haiti since the outbreak began in October. More than 23,000 people have been hospitalized – roughly half of the 56,901 cases that have been identified so farm. Seventy-seven people have died from cholera in the nation's capital city of Port-au-Prince. Nearly half of the deaths and more than half of the hospital admissions have occurred in the northern department of Artibonite.

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