June 27, 2022

E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak at Anvil Mountain Correctional Center in Nome, Alaska May Be Linked to Nationwide Romaine Lettuce Outbreak

An E. coli O157:H7 outbreak at the Anvil Mountain Correctional Center in Nome, Alaska may be connected to the nationwide outbreak linked to chopped romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, Arizona. The Department of Health & Social Services, Department of Environmental Conservation, and Department of Corrections issued a joint press release about this outbreak. Eight confirmed cases have been identified. The romaine lettuce consumed by the Nome patients was grown in Yuma, Arizona, according to investigators. State officials are telling Alaskans to avoid any romaine lettuce products that could be contaminated. Restaurants, retailers, and consumers should ask their suppliers about the source of the lettuce. This statement, for the first time, says that consumers should avoid whole head and … [Read more...]

Another Raw Milk Campylobacter Outbreak in Alaska

A second Campylobacter outbreak that has sickened at least five people has been associated with a cow-share program on the Kenai Peninsula, according to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.  A March Campylobacter outbreak associated with that same cow-share sickened 31 people, leaving four with reactive arthritis. Two of the five people sickened in this outbreak sought medical attention. Testing by the Alaska State Public Health Laboratory matched the outbreak strain of Campylobacter jejuni to one found in cow manure at the farm during the earlier outbreak. “The genetic fingerprint of the bacteria isolated from these two people and the cow is unique. It has never been seen before in the United States,” Dr. Joe McLaughlin, State Epidemiologist, said in a  statement. … [Read more...]

Raw Milk Campylobacter Outbreak Leaves Four with Reactive Arthritis

A raw milk Campylobacter outbreak that sickened 31 people on Alaska's Kenai Peninsula has left three children and one adult with reactive arthritis,  a painful form of  inflammatory arthritis that can last for months or sometimes years.  The outbreak marks the second time in two years that raw milk has been the source of a Campylobacter outbreak in Alaska. Most of the people sickened in this outbreak were children. The median age for victims was 10. The age range was 7 months to 72.  Two people were hospitalized. "These outbreaks are an unfortunate reminder of the inherent risks associated with raw milk consumption, and underscore the importance of pasteurization," Alaska state health officials said in their recently published summary of the outbreak. They recommend that health care … [Read more...]

Raw Milk Campylobacter Outbreak Sickens 22 In Alaska

A Campylobacter outbreak linked to raw milk has sickened at least 22 people in Alaska and hospitalized two of them including one child, state health officials told Food Poisoning Bulletin today. Both people who were hospitalized have been released. Twenty one of the 22 case patients drank the milk before becoming ill, said Dr. Brian Yablon, a medical epidemiologist with Alaska’s Division of Public Health. “There’s no question that it’s the source of the outbreak.” The milk was produced on a farm on the Kenai Peninsula, located on the southern coast of Alaska, and distributed through a cow-share program. In Alaska, the sale  of raw milk for human consumption is not permitted unless the milk is consumed by the cow’s owner. Members of cow or goat shares are considered owners of the … [Read more...]

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