November 28, 2015

Costco Chicken Salad E. Coli Outbreak Sickens 19

An E. coli outbreak linked to chicken salad sold Costco stores has sickened 19 people in seven states.  Five people have been hospitalized; two of them have hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a life-threatening complication that causes kidney failure, seizure, stroke and coma. Consumers who purchased rotisserie chicken salad from any Costco store in the United States on or before November 20, 2015, should not eat it. Consumers who have purchased it should throw it away.  On November 20, Costco told public health officials that it had removed all remaining rotisserie chicken salad from all of its U.S. stores and temporarily halted further production. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),  the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food … [Read more...]

E. coli Outbreaks: When the Evidence Gets Eaten, Thrown Away

Identifying the contaminated food source responsible for a food poisoning outbreak isn't always as straightforward as it seems, especially when perishable items are involved. A short shelf life means evidence often is either eaten or thrown away before an investigation even gets started. That's the case with the Chipotle E. coli outbreak. Health officials suspect that contaminated produce is the source of the outbreak. But it's likely that the tainted batch was consumed before investigators gathered samples from restaurants for testing as is often the case. The first round of tests on samples taken from several Chipotle restaurants were negative for the outbreak strain E. coli O26. Other tests are pending. It's important to note that finding the outbreak strain in uneaten food is not … [Read more...]

It’s State Fair Time! Watch Out for E. Coli …

State fairs around the country are in full swing. Some have ended, and some have yet to begin. These gatherings are celebrations of the harvest and of the hard work of farmers. But in the past, these fairs and other late summer and early fall gatherings have been the source of dangerous E. coli outbreaks. Last year, an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to the traveling Zerebko Zoo Tran petting zoo sickened at least 13 people. The fair traveled to the Rice County Fair, the Nashwauk 4th of July Festival, the Polk Country Fair, and the Olmsted County Fair. In 2013, an outbreak in September sickened three children Kentucky and Indiana after they visited Huber's Orchard in Starlight, Indiana. All three children had to be hospitalized as a result of their illnesses. In October 2013, three … [Read more...]

E. coli HUS Takes Life of Myles Mayfield, 2, of Greenwood SC

Myles Mayfield, 2, of Greenwood , SC has died from hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a complication of E. coli infections that causes kidney failure. He died May 31 at Greenville Memorial Hospital, coroner Sonny Cox told WYFF News. HUS primarily affects young children occurring in about 10 percent who have E. coli infections. In addition to kidney failure, it can cause seizure, stroke and coma. Health officials have not identified the source of the infection. E. coli is transferred when microscopic amounts of human or animal feces are ingested.  This can happen through poor hygiene of food handlers, consuming unpasteurized dairy products or contact with live animals at petting zoos or other exhibits.   The daycare that Myles attended told WYFF in a statement: "We are taking … [Read more...]

Whatcom County E. coli Outbreak Grows; CDC Pitches In

The E. coli outbreak associated with the Milk Makers Fest at the Northwest Fairgrounds in Lynden, Washington in April has grown to include 45 cases. There are now 23 confirmed cases and 22 probable cases. Eight people have been hospitalized as a result of their illness. There are several children who have hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The case count is now increasing more slowly. Interviews are continuing to determine if there was a common food or water source or activity, such as the petting zoo at the event. Lab tests have not yet been returned to determine which serotype of E. coli O157 has sickened people. It is taking some time for results to come back. The state is asking for federal help in solving this outbreak, according to the Seattle Times. Dr. Scott Lindquist, … [Read more...]

Milk Makers Fest E. coli outbreak Sickens 32

The Milk Makers Fest E. coli outbreak in Lynden, Washington, is growing in size as state and county health officials confirm more illnesses among more than 1,300 children who attended the educational event hosted recently by the Whatcom County Dairy Women. The investiation so far by the Whatcom County Health Department (WCHD) has confirmed 17 cases, including four individuals who have been hospitalized, the agency said in a news release. In addition, on Thursday there were 15 probable cases in people who had clinical symptoms and exposure to the event or people who attended it. Those cases are being confirmed through laboratory analysis. Dr. Greg Stern, Whatcom County’s health officer, has been identified as the principal contact in the investigation. He is urging those who attended the … [Read more...]

Death of Girl, 4, Spurs Mandatory E.coli Tetsing Bill in Orgeon

Serena Profitt, age 4, died last summer of E. coli poisoning. A bill introduced in the Oregon House, HB 3540, hopes to prevent similar tragedies. Health authorities believe Serena and her friend, Brad Sutton, 5, both contracted E.coli infections from the same source, but they never identified it. Bradley was hospitalized and survived, but help for Serena came too late. The children both became ill over Labor Day weekend last year experiencing bloody diarrhea. Serena’s family brought her to the hospital twice but she was sent home each time without being tested for E. coli. Serena's symptoms persisted, so the Profitts brought her to a different hospital where she was admitted going into shock and kidney failure. She died two days later after suffering a stroke and a massive … [Read more...]

National Kidney Month, Learn Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome Risks

Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS) is a life-threatening complication of E. coli infections that causes kidney failure, primarily in young children. Because March is Kidney Month, it's a good time to learn the risks and symptoms of HUS. In the United States, HUS from E. coli infections is the most common cause of serious kidney injury in children and the most common cause of E. coli deaths.  About 7, 500 cases are diagnosed each year. And most E. coli infections in children are caused by contaminated food or drinks. E. coli outbreaks have been linked to hamburger, mechanically tenderized steak, lettuce, spinach, sprouts, raw milk, raw cheese, unpasteurized apple cider, strawberries, hazelnuts, frozen pizza and other frozen food products and cookie dough. Symptoms of E.coli infection … [Read more...]

E. coli Takes Life of 4-Year-Old Oregon Girl

A 4-year-old Oregon girl has died from complications of an E.coli infection she contracted Labor Day weekend.  Serena Profitt was surrounded by her family and friends when she was removed from life support at Doernbecher Children's Hospital around 9:30 p.m. last night. "She's the most vibrant young girl ever; she's just sweet loving and so amazing, so smart, just a heart that is of gold," aunt Aleahsa Hargitt, told Fox 12 News. Serena became sick after a visit to Lincoln City. Her family brought her to a hospital in McMinnville. After she went into kidney failure, she was rushed to Doernbecher where she was diagnosed with E. coli. She seemed fine on Sunday morning, but suffered a stroke at 4:00 p.m. Serena was suffering from hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a complication  that … [Read more...]

E. coli HUS Strikes Four in Kansas

Four people in Kansas have been diagnosed with Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS) a life-threatening condition arising from some E.coli infections that causes kidney failure, KCTV is reporting. The source of the illnesses is unknown at this time. HUS usually affects children and teens but it adults can develop it, too.  One of the case patients is a 20-year-old woman who was hospitalized and released. About 5 percent of people with E.coli infections will develop HUS which causes damage to and premature destruction of red blood cells which clog the kidneys preventing their ability to filter blood. Treatment of HUS includes dialysis, plasma exchange and blood transfusions.  Long-term complications of HUS include kidney problems and high blood pressure. … [Read more...]

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