April 20, 2018

McDonald’s Worker in Berea, Kentucky Diagnosed with Hepatitis A

The Madison County Health Department in Kentucky is investigating a single case of hepatitis A in a food worker who worked while infectious at the McDonald's restaurant on Glades Road in Berea, Kentucky. Anyone who ate there on March 23, 2018 should contact their doctor about this issue. Unfortunately, it's too late for anyone to get a hepatitis A or immune globulin vaccination, since they are only effective if given within two weeks of exposure. It's been three weeks, or 21 days, since the possible exposure. People may already be sick, and could still get sick for the next month, since the illness manifests two weeks to 50 days after exposure to the virus. McDonald's is cooperating with state and local health officials. The risk to patrons is low, but this virus is extremely … [Read more...]

Food Worker at Ken’s Express Mart in Ashland, Kentucky Diagnosed with Hepatitis A

A food employee at Ken's Express Mart at 954 29th Street in Ashland, Kentucky has been diagnosed with hepatitis a, according to news reports. That person prepared fresh food at the fresh food counter at that facility. Anyone who ate fresh food from that store from March 22 through April 7, 2018, may have been exposed to the pathogenic virus. If you did eat food from that venue before March 28, 2018, it's too late for a vaccination. All you can do is monitor yourself for the symptoms of hepatitis A for the next few weeks. Those symptoms include fatigue, no appetite, stomach pain, nausea, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), clay-colored stools, and dark urine. Symptoms typically appear within two weeks to 50 days after exposure to the bacteria. If you ate there on March … [Read more...]

Waffle House Worker in Boyd County, Kentucky Diagnosed with Hepatitis A

One person who worked at two Waffle House locations in Boyd County in northeastern Kentucky has been diagnosed with hepatitis A, according to a Public Health Advisory posted on the Ashland-Boy County Health Department Facebook page. The employee worked at both locations while he was infectious. The window of possible exposure was February 12 through February 28, 2018. The Waffle House owner and employees have cooperated fully with the local and state health officials to try to identify all possible employee contacts. Employees are receiving hepatitis A vaccinations. Anyone who ate at those restaurants before February 22, 2018 is now longer eligible for a shot. All those persons can do is monitor themselves for the symptoms of hepatitis A and see their doctors. Hepatitis A and … [Read more...]

Kroger Employee in One Louisville, Kentucky Store Diagnosed with Hepatitis A

A Kroger employee who worked at a store at 4915 Dixie Highway in Louisville was diagnosed with hepatitis A. That person worked there from February 4 through  February 28, 2018, potentially exposing many people. Any produce purchased at that store during that time frame shold be thrown away. No notice about this has been posted at the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, but a notice about the multi-county outbreak of hepatitis A was posted, stating that there have been 117 cases of the illness this year, most in the Jefferson County/Louisville area. In a typical year, only about 20 cases are reported. The virus is highly contagious. It is passed from person to person through the fecal-oral route, which means that if an infected person doesn't wash their hands well … [Read more...]

Shigella Outbreak in Nelson and Hardin Counties, KY

A Shigella outbreak in Nelson and Hardin Counties, Kentucky, has been confirmed by Donny Gill, Harm Reduction Manager at the Lincoln Trail District Health Department.  Just over 50 cases have been reported to the health department. Most of those sickened are children. The source "has been determined to be a Nelson county daycare center," according to Mr. Gill. That daycare has not been named. Mirna Chamorro, Public Information Officer at the Florida Department of Health, Seminole County, also confirmed the outbreak. She said that letters were sent to parents to provide general information on Shigella and to let parents know that if their children have symptoms, keep them at home until 48 hours after symptoms have passed. Mr. Gill told WDRB.com that people most at risk for this … [Read more...]

Salmonella Outbreak in Estill County, Kentucky

The Estill County Health Department is investigating a Salmonella outbreak in that area that has sickened at least 41 people. Nineteen of those people have been confirmed as having a Salmonella infection. Six of those patients, including at least one child, have been hospitalized, and three are currently still in the hospital. The Estill County Health Department is working with the Kentucky Health Department to try to discover the source of the outbreak. Isolates from patients are going to be tested with pulsed field-gel-electrophoresis to determine the DNA of the outbreak strain and where it came from. The Environmental Program Director at the Estill County Health Department, Kenny Cole, told Lex18.com that "all of the 19 positive cases, the one thing they do have in common, they had … [Read more...]

Mexican Restaurant Salmonella Outbreaks in Illinois, Kentucky

Public health officials in Illinois and Kentucky are investigating separate outbreaks of Salmonella associated with independent Mexican restaurants. Combined, the Hacienda Don Villo outbreak in Channahon, Illinois, and the Casa Mexicana outbreak in Madisonville, Kentucky, have sickened about 50 people. In Kentucky, one of the outbreak patients has died. “Every outbreak of Salmonella carries the prospect of life-long illness for unsuspecting families,’’ said Fred Pritzker, founder of national food safety law firm Pritzker Olsen Attorneys. Pritzker said too many people downplay the burdens of Salmonella infection, which can trigger an assortment of long-term illness in some patients. In others, Salmonellosis resolves itself with no medical attention and the illness is over. Studies … [Read more...]

Kentucky Salmonella Probe at Casa Mexicana Has Breakthrough

Casa Mexicana  in Madisonville, Kentucky, has been confirmed as the source of a deadly Salmonella outbreak after food poisoning investigators in Hopkins County found the outbreak strain of Salmonella bacteria in food from the restaurant. Using a technique known as pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), lab researchers derived the genetic fingerprint of  the pathogen from patient cultures and matched those prints to organisms in food from the restaurant. Food Poisoning Bulletin learned from Public Health Director Denise Beach in Madisonville that the Casa Mexicana outbreak has sickened 15 people and killed one person in the area. Five of the confirmed victims were hospitalized and there has not been a new report of onset of illness in more than a week, she said. The restaurant is … [Read more...]

Walmart, Schnucks, Other Chains Recall Cantaloupe

Several major grocery chains have recalled the cantaloupes associated with the Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak that has sickened 178 people in 21 states. So far, WalMart, Schnucks, Meijer, and Marsh have pulled the recalled cantaloupes from their shelves. Kroger has pulled cantaloupes recalled by Burch Farms for Listeria. The cantaloupes, produced and processed by Chamberlain Farm Produce Inc. of Owensville, Indiana, were shipped from June 21, 2012 to August 16, 2012. The farm started recalling the cantaloupes on August 17, 2012. The outbreak is likely to grow because of this long time frame. Cities that are affected by this outbreak include Lousiville, Lexington, and Owensboro, Kentucky; Chicago, Aurora, and Rockford, Illinois; Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, and South Bend, Indiana; Kansas … [Read more...]

Kentucky Lab Links Cantaloupes To Deadly Salmonella Outbreak

The Kentucky public health lab has established that Salmonella found in cantaloupes grown on a farm in southwestern Indiana matches the strain that has sickened 141 people in a 20 state outbreak that has hospitalized 31 people and killed two, according to the Kentucky Department of Public  Health.  "This finding is 'smoking gun' evidence that cantaloupe from the Indiana farm caused this outbreak," said Attorney Fred Pritzker, a national food safety lawyer who recently won $4.5 million for a client sickened in another outbreak. The Salmonella deaths occurred in Kentucky where at least 50 people have been sickened since the beginning of July. Public health officials are investigating whether other clusters of Salmonella food poisoning cases in the state might also be part of the … [Read more...]

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