July 23, 2017

Deadly Multistate Salmonella Kiambu Outbreak Linked to Papayas

A multistate outbreak of Salmonella Kiambu infections linked to yellow Maradol papayas has sickened 47 people in 12 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Maryland officials warned consumers about this potential outbreak with a recall of Caribeña’s brand yellow Maradol papayas this week. The CDC's announcement did not mention any brand of papaya in particular, but did state that "Salmonella Kiambu infections are linked to yellow Maradol Papayas en Español." The case count by state is: Iowa (1), Kentucky (1), Louisiana (1), Maryland (5), Massachusetts (1), Minnesota (1), New Jersey (12), New York (13), Pennsylvania (4), Texas (1), Utah (1), and Virginia (6). Twelve ill persons have been hospitalized, and one death has been reported in New York … [Read more...]

Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Teaching and Clinical Labs

In a rather unusual outbreak, public health officials have identified 24 people in 16 states sickened with Salmonella Typhimurium infections linked to teaching and clinical laboratories. Six of those sickened have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported. This is the same strain that was associated with infections linked to microbiology lab exposure in 2011 and 2014. This is a pub.ic health problem and a reminder that bacteria used in microbiology laboratories can sicken people who work in those labs. [Editor's note: The first time I was in a microbiology lab the professor warned us against eating or drinking in the room and also walked us through safety steps, including frequent hand washing and the use of gloves, lab coats, and goggles.] In addition, people who live with … [Read more...]

Deadly E. coli Outbreak in Utah/Arizona Has Sickened 12 People

The E. coli outbreak in Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Arizona has now sickened 12 people, according to the Southwest Utah Public Health Department. David Heaton, Health Department spokesman, commented on the press release page, saying "Advisory is cautionary action as investigation includes focus on food contamination and animal exposure risk. Individual case information is not being released other than to confirm that most are children." The source of the outbreak has still not been identified. We do know that two children have died in this outbreak. News reports before this update say that four patients have developed HUS and that seven have been hospitalized, but the health department has not confirmed these numbers. HUS is a complication of an E. coli infection that destroys … [Read more...]

Illnesses at Chipotle Mexican Grill in Sterling, Virginia

An outbreak of illness has sickened about 60 people after they ate at the Chipotle Mexican Grill in Sterling, Virginia, according to the Loudoun County Health Department. Dr. David Goodfriend, director of the department, said, "one ill patron has tested positive for norovirus. This provides additional information but is not sufficient to determine the cause of the outbreak. The Health Department is awaiting further test results, which should be available early next week." On Monday, July 17, 2017, LCHD was notified by the Chipotle Mexican Grill at 21031 Tripleseven Road, Sterling, VA 20165, and by local medical providers of customers complaining of nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea over the previous two days. The restaurant closed voluntarily. Health Department officials investigated … [Read more...]

Papayas Recalled in Maryland Salmonella Case Investigation

Caribeña’s brand yellow Maradol papayas may be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria, according to the Maryland Department of Health. The yellow papaya have been distributed to retail stores throughout the state. Consumers are encouraged to check any papayas they have purchased to see if they match the brand and type recalled. Five yellow Maradol papayas sold at a Baltimore retail location were tested as part of an ongoing Salmonella case investigation. Three of the five papayas tested positive for the pathogenic bacteria. There is no information on how many people may have been sickened or any information about a timeline. And officials have not found the source of the contamination, but state that it could have occurred at any time or place in the supply chain. The … [Read more...]

Oyster Vibrio Cases in Washington Increase to 25

The King County Public Health Department has updated their investigation into the vibrio outbreak linked to raw oysters in Washington state. Now as many as 25 people are sick. Those patients ate raw oysters at several restaurants and purchased from several markets. These illnesses were reported to the Washington State Department of Health Shellfish Program. This outbreak may result in closure of certain harvest locations or other enforcement actions after investigation. Environmental Health inspectors conduct investigations at each retail or restaurant location reported in an outbreak. They make sure that the oysters were purchased from approved sources, were held at proper temperatures, at or below 41°F, and handled to minimize the risk of cross-contamination. Bacteria from one … [Read more...]

Cyclospora Outbreak in Texas Sickens at Least 68

A health advisory for a Cyclospora outbreak has been issued by the Texas State Department of Health Services. At least 68 people are sick with cyclosporiasis in that state. Illness were reported to officials starting mid-June 2017. Public health officials are investigating the outbreak to identify possible common exposures. In the past, cyclospora outbreaks have been linked to consumption of imported fresh produce, cilantro, pre-packaged salad mix, raspberries, basil, snow peas, and mesclun lettuce. The diagnosis of more patients and rapid reporting to public health by doctors is essential to try to prevent a large scale outbreak. Officials are asking doctors to test patents for the parasite if they have a diarrheal illness that lasts more than a few days, or have diarrhea that … [Read more...]

Agencies Added to Deadly Utah-Arizona E. coli Outbreak

The investigation into the deadly E. coli outbreak at the border of Utah and Arizona has been joined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Utah Department of Health, the Arizona Department of Health Services, and the Utah Department of Health, according to the Southwest Utah Public Health Department. The confirmed case count stands at 11. Two children have died after being infected with E. coli bacteria. The source of the outbreak hasn't been identified, but warnings have been issued by various health departments against consuming raw milk and previously purchased ground beef. This most recent update also warned people that the illness can be spread person-to-person. The cities involved in this outbreak are Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Arizona. This is … [Read more...]

CDPH Releases Info about 2015 Raw Milk Campylobacter Outbreak

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has released an investigation about the 2015 Campylobacter outbreak associated with Claravale Farm brand raw milk. In March 2015, the CDPH Infectious Diseases Brand identified three patients who live in Santa Cruz County with Campylobacter infections. All three patients reported consuming Claravale brand raw milk before they got sick. Eventually, seven total case patients were identified. One lived in Marin County, one in Orange County, and five in Santa Cruz county. Two of those patients were hospitalized. Illness onset dates ranged from February 16 to March 25, 2017. Campylobacter isolates were collected from three of the patients and analyzed by pulsed field-gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Those isolates all had the same primary … [Read more...]

Salmonella Outbreak in Canada Linked to Frozen Raw Chicken Products

The Public Health Agency of Canada has stated that the Salmonella Enteritidis outbreak in that country announced in late June, 2017 has been linked to a recalled frozen chicken product. Twelve people in four different provinces are sick. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) issued a food recall warning for President's Choice brand Pub Recipe Chicken Nuggets in 800 gram packages with a best before date of 2018 MR 15. The product was distributed across the country. The statement says that the risk to Canadians is low. There have been Salmonella outbreaks in the past in the U.S. linked to raw frozen breaded chicken products. In 2015, there were two of these outbreaks in the United States. The first outbreak was linked to Barber raw Chicken Kiev products, sickening 15 people in … [Read more...]

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