Thursday, December 9, 2010

Outbreaks and Alerts: December 9, 2010

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

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United States
  • Midland, TX. December 2nd: The Midland Health Department reported Thursday it has observed more than 10 times the typical number of Shigella diarrhea cases since October – 53 versus the expected incidence of 3-4 per month.
  • Gibbon, MN. December 7th: State Agriculture Department investigators have seized several hundred gallons of raw milk and other food produced by Mark Hartmann's dairy farm in defiance of a state order to halt production at the farm. Raw milk produced at Hartmann's farm was the source of eight cases of E. coli O157:H7 in May and several other instances of gastroenteritis in July and August.
  • Boise, ID. December 8th: Health officials have found evidence of E. coli at a privately run prison south of Boise after five inmates at the Idaho Correctional Center became ill around December 1st.
  • Bellaire, MI. December 8th: The Northwest Michigan Health Department has issued a norovirus advisory for the region. Health workers suspect that norovirus was behind two outbreaks of gastroenteritis in Grand Traverse County in October - one linked to a company luncheon and the other at a day care center.
  • Maine. December 9th: The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC has issued a norovirus health advisory after receiving reports of five outbreaks from four counties in the last 10 days. Four of the outbreaks occurred in long term care facilities, and the fifth was in a school setting.
  • Washington, DC. December 9th: EPA has published a petition filed by 82 public health and environmental groups to ban the antibacterial agent triclosan for nonmedical use. A 60-day comment period has been announced.
  • Brown County, Kansas. December 9th: The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has issued a boil water advisory for the City of Willis and portions of the City of Horton after a loss of water pressure was reported in the public water system.

  • Peterborough, ON. December 8th: The Peterborough Regional Health Centre continues to restrict visitors to its B3 medical unit, due to an outbreak of Clostridium difficile, MRSA and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus. No new cases have been identified.

  • Llandudno, Wales. December 8th: Badgers Café is facing five hygiene and cleanliness charges after an outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis PT14b last year.
  • Wiltshire, UK. December 8th: Churchfields School remains closed as investigations continue into an illness outbreak, thought to be due to norovirus. Twenty-four staff members are absent with symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Liverpool, UK. December 8th: Banks Road Primary School in Garston is experiencing an outbreak of viral gastroenteritis. About 55 of the 209 pupils are affected.
  • UK. December 9th: The Health Protection Agency has recorded 43 outbreaks of norovirus in hospitals since the beginning of November. Thirty-nine of the outbreaks have led to ward closures.
  • Saint-Michel, France. December 9th: A 14-year old student at Puygrelier College has been hospitalized and 143 are ill with food poisoning. A meal served to the students on Tuesday is suspected to be the source of the outbreak. Lab analyses are in progress.
  • Östersund, Sweden. December 9th: The municipality believes that it has found the source of the Campylobacter contamination in its municipal water system. The parasite is thought to have entered the system in a multi-family dwelling in the Odensala neighborhood of Östersund.

Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands
  • Putrajaya, Malaysia. December 8th: The Health Ministry has ordered a probe of the waters of the Kenyir Lake to determine the extent to which it is contaminated with E. coli, following media reports of high levels of the bacteria having been found in the waters of the lake by a study undertaken by Universiti Malaysia Terengganu.
  • Morogoro, Tanzania. December 8th: Four people have died and 58 were hospitalized in a new outbreak of cholera. The first cases in the area were reported two weeks ago.
  • Singapore. December 9th: Cordial drinks and chicken frank rolls were suspected to have caused the mass food poisoning incident at the Singapore Sports School canteen last month which affected 106 students. A sample of chicken frank rolls was found to contain low levels of Bacillus cereus, and one of the food handlers also tested positive for Salmonella.
  • Cebu, Philippines. December 9th: The number of reported cases of typhoid fever continue to rise in two villages of Alegria. At least 30 residents have been hospitalized; 160 are experiencing symptoms of typhoid. Contaminated water is suspected to be the source of the outbreak.

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