Monday, January 3, 2011

Outbreaks and Alerts: January 3, 2011

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

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United States
  • Multistate Outbreak. December 28th: Alfalfa sprouts from Tiny Green Organic Farm (Urbana, IL) have been blamed for an outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium (Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:-), which has sickened at least 94 people in 16 states and the District of Columbia.
  • West Virginia. December 30th: Food Safety News reports that the Cabell-Huntington County Health Department has vaccinated 236 people after 11 individuals were infected with hepatitis A in the Milton, WV area. The source of the hepatitis outbreak has not been identified.
  • New York, NY. January 3rd: The Queen Mary 2, en route to New York from Southampton, was boarded in St. Kitts by an inspector from the CDC Vessel Sanitation Program after the cruise ship reporting that 185 passengers (out of a total of 2,483) and 29 crew members were suffering from diarrhea and vomiting.

  • Laval, QC. December 29th: The Cité-de-la-Santé Hospital in Laval has closed its doors to visitors in an attempt to control an outbreak of gastroenteritis that has affected both patients and staff at the hospital. Ambulances have been instructed to avoid the hospital until further notice.
  • Hamilton, ON. January 2nd: Clostridium difficile contributed to the death of a 91-year old woman at St. Joseph's Hospital in Hamilton, bringing the total number of C. difficile related deaths at the facility to eleven since October 2010.

  • Swansea, Wales, UK. January 3rd: Managers at Morriston Hospital have closed seven wards and asked the public to avoid visiting the hospital as part of a program to contain an outbreak of norovirus gastroenteritis.
  • Bonn/Koblenz, Germany, January 3rd: A passenger who was infected with norovirus before boarding the Prinses Juliana has been identified as the source of an outbreak of gastroenteritis among passengers of the Rhine cruise ship. The ship was quarantined for one day after 50 of the ship's 150 passengers developed diarrhea and vomiting.
  • Kalmykia, Russia. January 3rd: An emergency has been declared after veterinarians detected anthrax in meat from a slaughtered cow. Eight cases of human anthrax also are suspected, but have not yet been confirmed.

Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands
  • Hong Kong. December 30th: The Centre for Food Safety reports that fresh pig liver may be one of the sources of food-borne hepatitis E virus infections in Hong Kong, after determining that 16 out of 51 liver samples from roaster pigs were positive for the virus.
  • Beijing, China. December 31st: A random inspection of 35 rice noodle factories in Dongguan in early December revealed that only 5 of the 35 factories were manufacturing rice noodles that met government standards. Among the problems found during the inspections were noodles made with rotten grain and potentially carcinogenic additives.
  • Cebu, Philippines. January 1st: Twelve cases of diarrhea have been reported in Catmon (Cebu province). One person has died.
  • Harare, Zimbabwe. January 3rd: Cholera has been reported in at least 20 households in the Mbare suburb of Majubheki. According to news reports, the sewage system in Mbare has broken down, resulting in the contamination of drinking water with raw sewage.
  • Jakarta, Indonesia. January 3rd: Six members of one Central Java family died from apparent food poisoning after eating tiwul, a traditional dish made from dried cassava powder.
  • Papua New Guinea. January 3rd: PNG's cholera outbreak has spread to another district in East Sepik, with at least 10 confirmed deaths. In a separate incident, a nurse at Port Moresy General Hospital became infected with cholera after coming into contact with a patient's feces and vomit.

Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Jamaica. December 23rd: The Ministry of Health is investigating a possible case of food poisoning after eleven persons who shared a meal were taken to St. Ann's Bay hospital. One of the eleven victims was dead on arrival, and the others received treatment. Samples of the meal were taken for testing, but no results have been released as of January 3rd.
  • Dominican Republic. December 30th: Vibrio cholerae, has been found in the drinking water of two villages adjacent to the border with Haiti. At least 20 people in the area are suffering from cholera-like symptoms; 139 cholera cases have been confirmed nationwide.
  • Tambor, Costa Rica. December 31st: Salmonella was found in a sample of chicken served at the Hotel Barceló Playa Tambor after 80 hotel guests complained of gastrointestinal symptoms. Nevertheless, none of the ill guests were found to be infected with Salmonella; instead, they were determined to be suffering from norovirus infections. The hotel was closed on December 26th as a result of the outbreak, and remained closed through the New Year's weekend.
  • Bolivar, Colombia. December 31st: A possible cholera outbreak in temporary shelters in three municipalities has health authorities on the alert. The shelters were opened to house people who were forced to flee areas affected by flooding.
  • Haiti. December 31st: The death toll from Haiti's cholera epidemic has reached 3,333; more than 150,000 infections have been reported.


  1. I am happy that you are back on line. You have been missed.

  2. @joansie.-Thanks. It's nice to be back.


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