May 31, 2020

Hepatitis A Exposure at The New White Steamer in Indiana

Anyone who dined at The New White Steamer at 21 East Main Street in Washington, Indiana from May 12 to May 15, 2020 may have been exposed to hepatitis A, according to a release by the Daviess County Health Department. The press release did not have many details, and did not say whether or not a food handler was sick or if there was any other source of the exposure. That means that anyone who ate there on May 12, 2020 must get a hepatitis A or immune globulin vaccination by today, May 26, 2020. The vaccine is only effective if given within two weeks of exposure. But the notice states that anyone who ate at The New White Steamer from 5/12/20 through 5/15/20 can get a vaccination on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at The National Guard Armory at 500 NorthEast 6th Street in Washington, … [Read more...]

FDA Investigation Into Three Fall 2019 Romaine E. coli O157:H7 Outbreaks

The FDA has released a report detailing their investigation into three fall 2019 romaine E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks that sickened at least 188 people.  That agency worked with the FDA and state officials to investigation how the romaine lettuce was contaminated. The romaine E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks began in September 2019 and were declared over in January 2020. Some clusters within each of these outbreaks were traced to a common grower with multiple ranches and fields in the Salinas, California growing region. That grower was not named. Investigators found one of the outbreak strains of E. coli O157:H7 in a sample taken from public land less than two miles upslope from a produce farm with multiple fields that was identified during traceback investigations. Other Shiga … [Read more...]

Backyard Poultry Salmonella Outbreak Sickens 97 in 28 States

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a report about a backyard poultry Salmonella outbreak that has sickened at least 97 people in 28 states. This is not the first such outbreak; many of these outbreaks have been identified in the past few years. One of the issues is that Salmonella bacteria can be naturally present in chickens, even inside hen's ovaries, which then produce contaminated eggs. The pathogen is Salmonella Hadar. Seventeen people have been hospitalized because they are so sick. And 30% of ill persons are children younger than five. Epidemiologic evidence shows that contact with backyard poultry such as chicks and ducklings is the likely source of this outbreak. In interviews, 38, or 86% of 44 ill persons interviewed, said they had contact … [Read more...]

Possible Hepatitis A at LaRoma’s Pizzeria in Rome, New York

An employee tested positive for hepatitis A at LaRoma's Pizzeria in Rome, New York, according to a press release issued by the Oneida County Health Department. The employee "worked while infectious and may have exposed people who were patrons of the shop," according to the press release. The Health Department is also alerting people who ordered take-out food from that venue. That employee worked at the LaRoma's Pizzeria, located at 600 Floyd Avenue in Rome, between April 20, 2020 and May 4, 2020. Since the hepatitis A vaccine is only effective if given within two weeks of exposure, that means that anyone who ate there or ordered take out food on April 27, 2020 must get a vaccination today. Contact the Health Department at 315-798-5747 and press 1 to make an appointment for a … [Read more...]

Taco Bell Hepatitis A Exposure in Chilhowie, Virginia

A Taco Bell hepatitis A exposure may have occurred in Chilhowie, Virginia, according to the Virginia Department of Health. That restaurant is located at 153 VA-107 in Chilhowie. Anyone who ate at that restaurant from April 14 to April 30, 2020 could have been exposed to the virus. Dr. Karen Shelton, director of the health district said in a statement, "Individuals who ate food from Taco Bell in Chilhowie during that time and who have not been previously vaccinated for hepatitis A or have not previously had the disease are recommended to receive the hepatitis A vaccine. This may help prevent, or lessen the severity of, illness. The vaccine works best if given within 2 weeks of exposure and may not prevent infection with Hepatitis A for all, but it can help protect many who have been … [Read more...]

Blue Bell Pleads Guilty in Ice Cream Listeria Monocytogenes Outbreak

Blue Bell pleads guilty in ice cream Listeria monocytogenes outbreak and pays $19.35 million. And a former company president has been charged in connection with a scheme to allegedly cover up the incident, according to the Justice Department. The charge is that the company shipped contaminated and adulterated product. That deadly outbreak covered a five year time span from 2010 to 2015 that sickened 10 people. All of the patients were hospitalized. Three people who lived in Kansas died. Eight of the patients were hospitalized when they were served contaminated Blue Bell ice cream. The outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes were found in ice cream made at the Blue Bell plants in Brenham, Texas and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. This outbreak was long and complicated; we have put together … [Read more...]

Foodborne Illnesses Increased, Healthy People 2020 Targets Not Met

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report has released information about incidence and trends of foodborne illness from their active surveillance network for 2016 - 2019. They have found that foodborne illnesses increased, so the Healthy People 2020 targets for reducing foodborne illness will not be met. In 2019, FoodNet identified 25,866 cases of infection, 6,164 hospitalizations, and 122 deaths. The overall incidence per 100,000 population was highest for Campylobacter, followed by Salmonella, STEC, Shigella, cyclospora, Yersinia, Vibrio, and Listeria. Eighty-six percent of infections were acquired domestically. It's important to note that most cases of foodborne illness are not reported to physicians, so those cases are not in the … [Read more...]

New Salmonella DNA Test Improves Tracking of the Pathogen in Outbreaks

A new Salmonella DNA test will help improve tracking of Salmonella outbreaks, according to research published in The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics.  This should help investigators quickly trace and find the origin of the infection. Food poisoning caused by Salmonella bacteria causes 1.35 million infections every year in the United States. At least 26,500 people are hospitalized because they are so sick with this type of infection, and 420 people die. During an outbreak, speed in identifying and tracing the pathogen is critical to reducing serious illness and death. Traditional methods to find and identify Salmonella serotypes are to first grow the bacteria from samples and then test them to assign a subtype. The new Salmonella DNA test doesn't require first growing the … [Read more...]

Studies Find Raw Dog Food Major Source of Multidrug-Resistant Bacteria

New research that will be presented at this year's European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases has found that raw dog foods contain high levels of multidrug-resistant bacteria, including some that are resistant to last-line antibiotics. The study was conducted at the University of Porto in Portugal. The authors have concluded that potential transfer of these pathogens from dogs to humans is "an international public health risk." The authors include Dr. Ana Raquel Freitas and colleagues from the Faculty of Pharmacy at that university. These raw dogs foods are popular, and are offered as a "healthier" choice. One of the problems with this type of food is that dogs can be reservoirs of clinically-relevant ampicillin-resistant Enterococcus faecium, but … [Read more...]

FDA Info on Red Clover Sprouts E. coli O103 Outbreak

The FDA is weighing in on the red clover sprouts E. coli O103 outbreak. This outbreak is  associated with Jimmy John's restaurants according to the CDC. and the fact that a majority of patients interviewed ate sprouts at Jimmy John's before they got sick. The outbreak is over after sickening 51 people in 10 states. Three people were hospitalized because they were so sick. The patient case counts by state are: Florida (1), Idaho (1), Illinois (7), Iowa (3), Missouri (1), New York (1), Texas (1), Utah (34), Virginia (1), Wyoming (1). Illness onset dates range from January 6, 2020 to March 15, 2020. The patient age range is from 1 to 79 years. The last illness onset date was March 15, 2020. The outbreak case count increased from 39 in 6 states from the last outbreak update in March … [Read more...]

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