March 30, 2017

Norovirus Outbreak in Washington Associated with Raw Oysters

Public health officials in Seattle and King County are investigating multiple reports of a norovirus-like illness in people who ate raw oysters. Since January, officials have received reports that as many as 39 people were sickened after eating that shellfish. Illnesses have been reported during the time period ranging from January 10 through March 20, 2017. Public health has reported the illnesses to the Washington State Department of Health Shellfish Program, which tracks the reports and harvest locations of the oysters implicated in this outbreak. The oysters were all harvested from different growing areas and bays in Washington state with the exception of four meals. Those four meals, which account for 22 of the illnesses, were made of oysters harvested from a small bay in the … [Read more...]

E. coli Outbreak Linked to Robin Hood Flour Sickens 25 in Canada

An E. coli O121 outbreak linked to Robin Hood flour in Canada has sickened at least 25 people, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. All patients identified in this outbreak have samples with E. coli bacteria that match genetically. This outbreak is reminiscent of the 2016 E. coli outbreak in the United States linked to General Mills flour. And it's another reminder that flour is a raw agricultural product, can be contaminated with pathogenic bacteria, and should never be eaten raw. The flour has been recalled. The product is Robin Hood All Purpose Flour, Original in 10 kilogram bags with a code of BB/MA 2018 AL 17 and 6 291 548. It was distributed in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Secondary recalls of products made with this flour may be announced … [Read more...]

Skyrocketing Rates of Hepatitis A in Detroit, Michigan Counties

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is warning the public they are seeing elevated numbers of new hepatitis A cases in Detroit and in the counties of Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne. Cases have increased eightfold over the same time period in 2015 - 2016. Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive of MDHHS, said in a statement, "together with our local health partners, we are increasing outreach to vulnerable populations to raise awareness and promote vaccination of hepatitis A. Those who live, work, or play in the city of Detroit, as well as Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties are urged to get vaccinated for hepatitis A and talk to their healthcare provider about their risks." From August 1, 2016 to March 21, 2017, 107 cases of lab-confirmed hepatitis A have … [Read more...]

FDA Updates I.M. Healthy E. coli O157:H7 – HUS Outbreak

The FDA has updated their investigation into the I.M. Healthy E. coli O157:H7 - HUS outbreak that has sickened 23 people in 9 states, most of them children. The states where the patients live and the case count by state is: Arizona, (4), California (5), Maryland (1), Missouri (1), New Jersey (1), and Oregon (6) Virginia (2), Washington (2) and Wisconsin (1). Ten of the ill persons have been hospitalized because they are so sick. And seven of the patients have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure that can develop after this  infection. On March 2, 2017, the states of California, Washington, and Oregon began to collect open and unopened samples of I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter from grocery stores and from the homes of patients. Six samples collected by … [Read more...]

Pennsylvania Cryptosporidium Outbreak at Easton Farm

The Pennsylvania Department of Health (PDH) is warning visitors to a Northampton County animal rescue farm that a Cryptosporidium outbreak is related to infected manure at that farm. The Heaven on Earth Farm is located in Easton, Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Karen Murphy said in a statement, "Cryptosporidium is a parasite that can be found in water, food and soil, as well as on contaminated surfaces or dirty hands. Anyone sickened after visiting or working on the farm since February 14, 2017 is advised to contact the Department of Health at 1-877-PA-HEALTH and to talk to their personal physician. Even residents who may have come into contact with a visitor to the farm should take precautions to prevent the spread of this parasite, mainly through hand-washing … [Read more...]

Pritzker Hageman Files First AZ I.M. Healthy E. coli HUS Lawsuit

The law firm of Pritzker Hageman has filed the first Arizona lawsuit in the I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter E. coli O157:H7 - hemolytic uremic syndrome outbreak on behalf of a child. The lawsuit was filed on March 23, 2017 (Case : 1:17-cv-02233) in the United District Court Northern District of Illinois. The client in this case, minor child M.R., contracted a nearly-fatal E. coli O157:H7 infection after eating contaminated soy nut butter manufactured and sold by The SoyNut Butter Company. That infection developed into the complication hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which destroys the kidneys and can cause serious injury. The lawsuit alleges that the child, who attends a day care facility in Flagstaff, Arizona, consumed some of the SoyNut Butter in early January. On or about January … [Read more...]

What Stores Carried E. coli O157:H7 I.M. Healthy SoyNut Products?

The I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter E. coli O157:H7 outbreak has sickened at least 23 people in 9 states. Seven of those patients have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). And ten of those patients have been hospitalized because they have been so seriously ill. We decided to compile a list of grocery store chains that carried these products and have issued recalls of their own because the FDA does not do this. Please note that this retail distribution list should not be considered complete. Small stores and some independent retailers may have sold these products as well. It is also worth noting that these products were available for purchase online. The states where the patients in this outbreak live are Arizona, California, Maryland, Missouri, New Jerwey, Oregon, Washington, … [Read more...]

Herbal Tea Poisons Two San Francisco Residents

Two residents of San Francisco were sickened by drinking an herbal tea that contained Aconite, a lethal poison, according to the San Francisco Department of Health. The patients are critically ill and were still hospitalized as of March 10, 2017. One of the patients, a women in her 50s, and the other, a man in his 30s, got sick in separate incidents in February and March of this year. They drank tea made from leaves supplied by the same San Francisco herbalist. Each developed weakness, then life-threatening abnormal heart rhythms, requiring resuscitation and intensive hospital care. Aconite was found in the lab tests of the patients and the tea samples they provided. The tea leaves were purchased at the Sun Wing Wo Trading Company at 1105 Grant Avenue in Chinatown in San … [Read more...]

I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak Grows

As expected, the E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to the SoyNut Butter Company's I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butter products has grown. The CDC has just released an update on their investigation into this outbreak. Now, 23 people in 9 states are ill with the outbreak strain of E. coli. That's an increase of seven patients since the initial outbreak report on March 13, 2017. Ten of those sickened have been hospitalized. And seven people have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure. No deaths have been reported. Twenty, or 87%, of the ill persons in this outbreak are under the age of 18. No new states are included in the update. The patient case count by state is: Arizona (4), California (5), Maryland (1), Missouri (1), New Jersey (1), Oregon (6), Virginia (2), … [Read more...]

How do Babies Contract Listeriosis?

In some Listeria monocytogenes food poisoning outbreaks, we tell you that infants contracted this infection. In the current listeriosis outbreak linked to recalled Vulto Creamery raw milk cheese, one of the illnesses was reported in a newborn baby. Since babies do not consume raw cow's milk or eat raw cheeses or unpasteurized juices, the most common vectors for this pathogenic bacteria, how do they get sick? Short answer: their mother was sick. When a woman eats food contaminated with this pathogenic bacteria, she can pass the infection to the fetus. And if the fetus survives, since listeriosis can cause miscarriage and stillbirth, they can be born with this infection. In the Bidart Brothers' caramel apple Listeria monocytogenes outbreak, 35 illnesses occurred in pregnant women. … [Read more...]

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