Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Outbreaks and Alerts: December 8, 2010

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

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United States
  • Brainerd, MN. December 7th: Crosslake Community School was closed last friday after three staff members and more than 20% of the student body were absent due to an outbreak of norovirus gastroenteritis.
  • Oregon. December 7th: An advisory is in effect for Harris State Park Beach, due to a sewage spill into Harris Creek. While the advisory is in effect, visitors should avoid direct contact with the water. Children and the elderly are the most vulnerable to potential infection from waterborne bacteria.

  • Ottawa, ON. December 7th: Health Canada is reminding Canadians of some basic rules for safe handling of leftovers during the holiday season.

  • Dublin, Ireland. December 6th: The Food Safety Authority of Ireland reports that it issued one Improvement Order and four Closure Orders to food businesses during November.
  • Sunderland, UK. December 6th: A Campylobacter infection thought to have been contracted from contaminated food left a couple dangerously ill in hospital as a result of their stay at Kenya's Baobab Beach Resort. Mick and Liz Rodwell were on a 15-day safari in celebration of Liz's 56th birthday.
  • Kharkiv, Ukraine. December 7th: Authorities have launched a criminal investigation into an outbreak of food poisoning at the Kharkiv Air Force University that sickened 96 cadets in November. An inspection revealed numerous problems at the university cafeteria, including improper sanitation, outdated equipment and failure by university authorities to monitor food quality.

Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands
  • Hong Kong. December 6th: The Centre for Health Protection is investigating two clusters of suspected food poisoning involving 10 people. Both clusters are associated with consumption of food in the same restaurant in Tung Chung on November 28th and December 4th.
  • Hanoi, Vietnam. December 6th: The Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade has rejected a proposal from the owners of the city's unhygienic Thinh Liet Abattoir to keep the facility open until next August.
  • Hong Kong. December 7th: The Centre for Health Protection has confirmed a local case of cholera involving a 61-year old woman in Shau Kei Wan. This is the 9th case of cholera reported in Hong Kong this year.
  • Uganda. December 7th: The illness that has killed at least 38 people in northern Uganda remains a mystery. Preliminary tests have ruled out Ebola, typhoid and several other diseases.
  • Dhaka, Bangladesh. December 7th: Officials at Rajshahi University in western Bangladesh have ordered a major rat extermination drive after rodent meat found its way into chicken curry served to students. The chef has been suspended.
  • Lusaka, Zambia. December 7th: The Ministry of Health has confirmed three cholera cases from Chawama and Kanyama Townships. No deaths have been reported.
  • Papua New Guinea. December 7th: Between 200 and 300 people have died from cholera in the Western Province. Thirty-two of the deaths were recorded at Daru General Hospital. More than 2,000 cases of cholera have been reported, with many of the victims from isolated villages.
  • Cebu, Philippines. December 7th: A state of disaster has been declared in Alegriaafter nearly 200 people were diagnosed with typhoid fever. The town's water system is under investigation.

Australia and New Zealand
  • Lake Hume, Australia. December 8th: An algae bloom has been confirmed in Lake Hume. The public is being urged to avoid any water that appears bright green, or where green scums or a distinctive odor are present.

Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Panama. December 7th: Six hundred cases of diarrhea have been linked to poor food handling practices and the consumption of spoiled food.
  • Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. December 7th: The number of confirmed cholera cases has reached 22, according to the Public Health Ministry. The government believes that the situation is under control.
  • Haiti. December 8th: As of December 3rd, the Haitian Ministry of Public Health and Population had confirmed 91,770 cases of cholera; 43,243 (47.1%) victims were hospitalized, and there have been 2,071 deaths (death rate of 2.3%). A nationwide cholera surveillance system has been established. A French medical report commissioned by the Haitian authorities to determine the origin of the epidemic has pointed a finger at the Nepalese peacekeepers who were deployed as part of the international earthquake relief efforts. The United Nations does not consider the French report to be definitive proof of the Nepalese connection.


  1. Cebu, Philippines is not in latin america....;)

  2. @Anonymous.-Thanks for catching my slip of the trackpad! I have relocated Cebu to the correct part of the world.



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