October 25, 2014

Oregon E. coli Death Spotlights Barnyard Risks For Children


Oregon health authorities have not disclosed the findings of their ongoing investigation into the September E.coli death of 4-year-old Serena Profitt and the E.coli illness of her friend Brad Sutton, 5. But Serena's mother, Rachel Profitt, told The Oregonian in an interview that the family's pet goat is considered a prime suspect. Profitt said there are still a lot of unanswered questions surrounding the illness and death of her daughter. E. coli was found in the goat's droppings but, but officials have not confirmed if it was a genetic match to the strain that sickened Serena and Brad. Goat dropping were among the samples health officials collected from the Profitt home, but stool samples from family members, including 2-year-old Hannah who was also sick around the time Serena became … [Read more...]

Researchers Put E. coli to a Litmus Test

E. coli Bacteria

Canadian researchers have adapted a litmus paper to detect E. coli. Researchers Yingfu Li and Kha Tram said they wanted to make testing kits that used a simple technology everyone could operate. The litmus paper test allows results to be seen with the naked eye. The yellow paper turns dark blue in the presence of E.coli. The researchers say they are excited to expand the technology to include the detection of other pathogens and to adapt it for use in other fields such as genetics and cancer testing. Their work was published in the chemistry journal Angewandte Chemie. Every year, about 265,000 Americans are diagnosed with E.coli infections. These infections happen when people ingest microscopic amounts of human or animal feces.  This can happen from eating food that is … [Read more...]

Raw Milk Myths Debunked for Food Safety Month

Raw milk E. coli lawyer

September is Food Safety Month, a good time for debunking food myths. There are a lot of myths about raw milk on the Internet, some of them mislead people into thinking that raw milk is a safe health food that can cure illnesses. It's not. Before we get to why, it's important to note that between 60 and 75 percent of adults worldwide are lactose intolerant, meaning they are physically unable to digest lactose, the main sugar in milk. Most of us lose this ability by the time we start school. But many of us don't stop drinking milk when we reach school age. Symptoms of lactose intolerance include bloating, gas, abdominal cramping, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Lactose intolerance is not the same a milk allergy. About 2.5 percent of Americans have milk allergies meaning the have a … [Read more...]

Mercer Island, Washington E. coli Boil Water Advisory Lifted


The City of Mercer Island, Washington was under a boil water advisory this weekend. Seattle Public Utilities, the City's water supplier tests the water every month. The advisory was lifted this morning at 8:45 a.m. The Mercer Island School District decided to close school today to sanitize its systems. City crews will continue to inspect system facilities and to monitor the system. Engineers were not able to identify a source of the contamination. All samples taken from the water reservoirs on the Island were clean. No increase in gastrointestinal illnesses have been reported, and no confirmed cases of E. coli were linked to the City's water. All food establishments on the Island were told to suspend operations until the boil water advisory was lifted. All owners of food … [Read more...]

Beef Trimmings Recalled for E. coli


Beef trimmings from Caviness Beef Packers in Hereford, Texas are being recalled for  E.coli.  About 23,100 pounds of beef trimmings produced on August 14, 2014 and August 20, 2014 are included in the recall.  The products were shipped to fast food restaurants and retail distribution locations in Texas. Customers who have received these products should not use them. The recall includes "combo bins" marked: Beef Trimmings, BNLS, 90 L and Beef Trimmings, BNLS, 84 L. They have the establishment number “EST. 675” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The products were sent to establishments for further processing so consumers will likely not see packages with the establishment number "EST. 675," The problem was discovered during a food safety assessment. E.coli O157:H7 can can cause … [Read more...]

Deadly Raw Milk Cheese E. coli Outbreak Sickened 28

Deadly E. coli outbreak, HUS

An E.coli outbreak linked to raw milk cheese, killed one person and sickened 27 others in Canada, one year ago. One of the four people who were hospitalized developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a complication of some E.coli infections that leads to kidney failure. The patients, who ranged in age from 3 to 82 were from five provinces: 13 in British Columbia, 10 in Alberta, 2 in Saskatchewan, 2 in Manitoba and 1 in Quebec. The fatality was in British Columbia. The outbreak triggered a recall of Gort's Gouda cheese which was unpasteurized. The sale of unpasteurized cheese is legal in Canada, but the sale or unpasteurized or raw milk is not. Canadian health officials believe that while raw milk can contain dangerous bacteria such as E.coli, Listeria and Salmonella, cheese made from … [Read more...]

Investigation of Fatal E. coli Case in Lynden, WA Ends

E. coli HUS

Health officials have ended their investigation of an E.coli infection that took the life of Brooklyn Hoksbergen, 3. They were unable to determine how the preschooler contracted the infection at the end of August but said they could not find evidence linking her case to three others  in Oregon. Citing privacy laws, state health officials in Oregon have not been forthcoming with information on the investigation of E.coli-induced hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS)  that hospitalized three children with kidney failure, killing one of them. On Wednesday, Lincoln County health officials said an Otis, Oregon restaurant, where two of the children   shared a sandwich before they became ill, had been ruled out as a potential source. The families of two of the children are friends and spent the … [Read more...]

Source of Oregon E. coli Cases is Not Otis Restaurant, But What Is?

E. coli in OR

An Otis, Oregon restaurant is not the source of E coli poisoning that has has put a 5-year-old boy in the hospital with kidney failure and taken the life of his for 4-year-old friend, Lincoln County health officials said yesterday in a statement. All tests for E.coli on samples taken from the restaurant where the friends shared a turkey sandwich Labor Day weekend were negative. Brad Sutton, 5, has been on dialysis for a week as he battles kidney failure from E. coli-induced hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) a complication affecting 10 to 15 percent of children with E.coli infections. "HUS is the most common cause of kidney injury to children," said Elliot Olsen, a food safety attorney with PritzkerOlsen law firm. About 50 percent of children with HUS develop kidney failure, he said. It … [Read more...]

Harvard Developing Device to Filter Pathogens Out of Blood


Researchers at Harvard University are developing a medical device that replicates the function of the human spleen. The scientists say that it can filter pathogens from E. coli bacteria to the Ebola virus. The device, called a biospleen, is under development at Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. The device was primarily developed to treat sepsis, which is a blood infection. The biospleen filters out live and dead pathogens along with dangerous toxins that these pathogens sometimes create. The device removes the pathogens and toxins without having to identify them first. As drug-resistant bacteria continue to evolve and develop, creating a device that will remove these pathogens from the blood quickly without a diagnosis is becoming critical to … [Read more...]

Kentucky E.coli Outbreak Sickens 6 Children

Six children are part of an E. coli outbreak in KY

An E.coli outbreak in Kentucky has sickened six children,  four of whom are hospitalized with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a spokeswoman for the state department for public health said today. The children range in age from 18 months to 6 years old, said Gwenda Bond, Assistant Communications Director for the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. The cases include a pair of siblings and two other children from Hardin County, one child from Oldham County and one child from Boone County. A case from Nelson county was also recently reported but is not believed to be part of the outbreak. The newly reported Boone County case patient is not hospitalized and does have HUS, the life-threatening complication  of some E.coli infections that can cause kidney failure, stroke, … [Read more...]

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