October 1, 2023

CDC Issues HAN Report About Severe Vibrio Vulnificus Infections

The CDC has issued a HAN Report about severe Vibrio vulnificus infections that are associated with warming coastal waters. The report is to notify healthcare providers, laboratories, and public health departments about recent reports of fatal Vibrio vulnificus infections from food and infected wounds, and to warn the public about this issue. Vibrio causes about 80,000 human illnesses every year in the United States. About a dozen species of this pathogen are pathogenic to humans. Vibrio parahaemolyticus causes the most infections, follow by Vibrio alginolyticus. About 150 to 200 Vibrio vulnificus infections are reported to the CDC every year. About 20% of these infections are fatal. Vibrio species live in coastal waters, including salt water and brackish water, which is a mixture … [Read more...]

Foodborne Illness is Back to Pre-Pandemic Levels

Foodborne illness is back to pre-pandemic levels for some pathogens, according to research published in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) for the week of June 30, 2023. The incidences that were higher were infections caused by Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, Yersinia, Vibrio, and cyclopsora. Campylobacter, Salmonella, Shigella, and Listeria illness levels did not change.   In other words, progress in reducing enteric infection levels was not observed in 2022. The report states that collaboration among food growers, processors, retail stores, restaurants, and regulators is needed to reduce pathogen contamination during poultry slaughter and to prevent contamination of leafy greens. During the pandemic, foodborne … [Read more...]

Sick Restaurant Employees Cause 40% of Outbreaks

Sick restaurant employees cause 40% of foodborne illness outbreaks, according to an article in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report for the week of June 2, 2023. Hundreds of foodborne illness outbreaks associated with retail food establishments are reported every year to the CDC. The period of time included in this study was 2017 to 2019. In 2014, CDC launched the National Environmental Assessment Reporting System (NEARS) to compliment the surveillance conducted by the National Outbreak Reporting System (NORS). State and local health departments enter data from their outbreak investigations of retail food establishments. The data entered include characteristics of outbreaks, including factors contributing to the illnesses, … [Read more...]

Persistent Strain of E. coli O157:H7 in United States, Says CDC

The CDC says that there is a persistent strain of E. coli O157:H7 in the United States that has caused illnesses and outbreaks. Illnesses caused by this strain, REPEXH01, occur year round but are less common in the winter. This strain has sickened people through contaminated food and contaminated recreational water. Persistent is a term used by the CDC to describe strains that have caused illnesses for years. Even though the number of illnesses may change over time, they continue to cause sickness. And these strains are sometimes linked to more than one course, making them more difficult to control. The strain is "relatively" diverse genetically, within 21 allele differences of one another. That is more diverse than pathogens that cause typical multistep foodborne illnesses … [Read more...]

The CDC is Warning About Bird Flu Detections in Backyard Birds

If you buy chicken at the grocery store, you may have noticed that some products are becoming more scarce. Supply chain issues aside, that may be because the bird flu numbers in poultry are approaching record numbers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) A(H5) virus has now sickened 52,773,869 birds in the United States. The birds that are affected include wild aquatic birds, commercial poultry, and backyard or hobbyist flocks beginning in January 2022. Thees are the first detections of this particular strain in this country since 2016. The illness has been found in 46 states in this country and in 341 countries around the world. In November 2022, the CDC said that 49,000,000 birds in 46 states had either died … [Read more...]

Traveling to Mexico? CDC Warns About Salmonella Newport Risk

Traveling to Mexico? The CDC is warning about a multi-drug resistant Salmonella Newport risk among people who have recently visited that country. ┬áMany travelers with these infections have reported eating beef, cheese, including queso fresco and Oaxaca, beef jerky, or dried beef, also known as carne seca, before they got sick. Multi-drug resistant (MDR) Salmonella are not affected by drugs that are designed to eliminate them, so infections with this type of pathogen can be difficult to treat. Most people with a Salmonella infection suffer from fever, chills, muscle aches, diarrhea that can be bloody, nausea, vomiting, and stomach cramps. These symptoms usually start within six hours to six days after eating food or drinking water contaminated with this pathogen. When traveling to … [Read more...]

Swimming Pool E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak in PA in 2021; 15 Sick

A swimming pool E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in Pennsylvania in June 2021 sickened 15 children, according to the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The patients were ages 4 to 14; all swam at the pool on May 31, 2021, the opening date, and had no other known common exposure. On June 7, 2021, the Pennsylvania Department of Health received multiple reports of gastrointestinal illness from patrons of a community swimming pool. Two people reported positive Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) and Clostridioides difficile tests from stool specimens. The government ordered the pool closed, and initiated an outbreak response. Confirmed cases were defined as isolation of E. coli O157:H7 or detection of Shiga toxin or Shiga toxin genes from stool specimens of persons who … [Read more...]

Acute Pediatric Hepatitis Cases Increase in 36 States

Acute pediatric hepatitis cases in the United States are increasing, and now affect children in 36 states, according to the CDC. The number of persons under investigation (PUI) is now 180. PUI does not meant the case is confirmed. The states and the CDC are "looking broadly" at hepatitis cases of unknown origin in children under the age of 10 since October 2021. This number may change as the medical charts are reviewed. These numbers will be updated weekly. The states and territories with possible cases include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, … [Read more...]

Three Potential Severe Hepatitis Cases in Children in Illinois

The problem with severe hepatitis cases in children has now spread to Illinois, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). There are more than a hundred children sickened around the world in this outbreak that may be linked to a certain strain of adenovirus. The children are all under the age of 10. One child living in Illinois required a liver transplant. Nine children who live in Alabama are also sick. Two of those children have required liver transplants. Those children range in age from one to six years. All were previously healthy, and none had COVID-19. In Illinois, two of the cases are in suburban Chicago, and one is in Western Illinois. IDPH is working to learn of other suspected cases and is asking healthcare providers in the state to be alert for … [Read more...]

CDC Issues Alert For Adenovirus Testing in Children With Acute Hepatitis

The CDC has issued a Health Alert Network (HAN) Alert for conducting adenovirus testing in children with acute Hepatitis. This comes after reports from Alabama of nine children under the age of 10 presenting with symptoms of severe hepatitis. Three of those children were in acute liver failure; those patients tested positive for adenovirus. Officials think these illnesses may be related to adenovirus 41. None of the children had COVID-19 and none had any previous health conditions. Two of the patients required liver transplants. Hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E are viruses, but hepatitis just means inflammation of the liver, and can be caused by chemicals, toxins, medications, alcohol use, and other viruses. Patients with liver inflammation can get very sick and suffer liver failure; … [Read more...]

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