December 3, 2016

In Canada, Cyclospora Outbreak Grows to Include 61 Cases

In Canada, a Cyclospora outbreak has grown to include 61 cases. Health officials have not yet identified the food source of the outbreak, but imported produce is  suspected. A parasite native to tropical climates, Cyclospora is not commonly found in Canada or the U.S. Often illnesses are travel-related or linked to imported produce such as berries, salads greens, and peas. In this outbreak, the 61 cases were reported between May and July from: British Columbia (1), Alberta (2), Ontario (52), and Quebec (6). One person was hospitalized. The outbreak occurs as more than 150 British travelers to resorts in Cancun, Mexico picked up the parasite while vacationing and as Texas battles a Cyclospora outbreak for the fourth straight summer. A food source has not been identified, but the … [Read more...]

Hepatitis A Outbreak in Canada Linked to Costco Frozen Berry Blend

A hepatitis A outbreak in Canada is linked to frozen berries sold at Costco in that country. The Public Health Agency of Canada is investigating an outbreak in three provinces. The product, Nature's Touch Organic Berry Cherry Blend, is being recalled by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. You can see more information about the recalled product here. At least 12 people have been sickened in this outbreak. The case count by province is: Ontario (9), Quebec (2), and Newfoundland and Labrador (1). People started getting sick in February and March, 2016. Some of those sickened at the recalled product. Most of the cases are male, with an average age of 37 years. Three people have been hospitalized in this outbreak because their illness is so severe. Hepatitis A infections can occur among … [Read more...]

Hepatitis A Outbreak in British Columbia

Government officials in British Columbia, Canada are investigating a hepatitis A outbreak in Dawson Creek. Five cases have been confirmed to date. Northern Health's chief medical officer Dr. Sandra Allison said that an outbreak has been declared, even those the clusters are seemingly unrelated. Hepatitis A is a virus that is very contagious. It is spread through fecal-oral contact. Very tiny amounts of feces can contaminate food and drink. People shed the virus before symptoms appear and before they know they are sick, and can sicken others if they prepare or serve food or beverages. These outbreaks are often traced back to contaminated food or to an ill food worker. There is no word on what has caused this particular outbreak. Hepatitis A outbreaks in the past have been linked to … [Read more...]

E. coli Outbreak in Canada Associated with Leafy Greens

The Public Health Agency of Canada has announced an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 associated with leafy greens has been taking place in the country. Illness onset dates ranged from March 13 to March 31, 2015. The investigation concluded on May 12, 2015. The outbreak is now considered over. A specific source of the pathogenic bacteria could not be confirmed, but leafy greens are possible. There were a total of 13 cases with a matching genetic fingerprint. The case count by province is: Alberta (10), Saskatchewan (1), Ontario (1), and Newfoundland and Labrador (1). And the report ends with advice about safe food handling. All raw fruits and vegetables should be washed under running water before you eat them or cut them. Raw fruits and vegetables can be contaminated with E. coli in the … [Read more...]

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