February 24, 2018

E. coli and Cryptosporidium Cases Rise in Michigan

Cases of E. coli and Cryptosporidium increased this summer in two counties in Michigan, according to the Health Department. Jennifer Morse, medical director of three regional health departments in that state said in a statement, "These increases are concerning because the resulting illness can be life-threatening. With the investigations that have been completed thus far, the major source seems to be coming from farm animals." These illnesses occurred in Mecosta and Newaygo counties in Michigan. This is important information, since we are approaching the time when many farms open their gates to tourism. Apple picking season is here. Deadly food poisoning outbreaks linked to farms have increased in the past few years. In fact, in 2013, an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak at Dehn's Pumpkins in … [Read more...]

Pennsylvania Cryptosporidium Outbreak at Easton Farm

The Pennsylvania Department of Health (PDH) is warning visitors to a Northampton County animal rescue farm that a Cryptosporidium outbreak is related to infected manure at that farm. The Heaven on Earth Farm is located in Easton, Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Karen Murphy said in a statement, "Cryptosporidium is a parasite that can be found in water, food and soil, as well as on contaminated surfaces or dirty hands. Anyone sickened after visiting or working on the farm since February 14, 2017 is advised to contact the Department of Health at 1-877-PA-HEALTH and to talk to their personal physician. Even residents who may have come into contact with a visitor to the farm should take precautions to prevent the spread of this parasite, mainly through hand-washing … [Read more...]

Cryptosporidium Outbreak in NM Associated with Raw Milk

The New Mexico Department of Health says that they are investigating six cases of cryptosporidiosis associated with raw milk products. That illness is caused by the Cryptosporidium parasite. Also investigating the outbreak are the New Mexico Department of Agriculture and the New Mexico Environment Department. Those cases have been reported to the government since August 31, 2016. Each person sickened said they consumed raw milk products before getting sick. All of those sickened live in Bernalillo County. There is no word on any potential recall, or if any of the patients have been hospitalized, their ages, or conditions. Secretary of Health Designate Lynn Gallagher said in a statement, "raw milk products may be contaminated with a variety of infectious pathogens. We are … [Read more...]

Cryptosporidium Outbreak in Central Ohio

A Cryptosporidium outbreak in central Ohio has sickened at least 202 people, according to a press release by Columbus Public Health. That number is more than the last four years combined. The outbreak is not tied to a central location, since many of those sickened include people with multiple exposures at different local recreational pools, spray fountains, and water parks. Cryptosporidium is a parasite that causes an illness in people. The main symptom of this disease is severe diarrhea.When people go swimming, or eat contaminated food, they ingest the oocyst and the parasite life cycle begins. The parasite is in oocyst form during the infective stage. It only takes 10 of these little oocysts, which are about half the size of a red blood cell, to make someone sick. Crypto … [Read more...]

Cryptosporidium Outbreak at Litchfield Farm Sickens School Children

School field trips to a Litchfield, MN farm have resulted in more than 10 cases of diarrheal illness from animal contact, including three cases of laboratory-confirmed Cryptosporidium infection.  All of those sickened reported visiting Nelson Farm on a school field trip starting on May 9. The children sickened are from five different schools, but numerous school groups visited the farm through May 25, so there could be many more children who become ill. The Minnesota Department of Health is investigating an outbreak and has issued a health advisory to local and tribal health departments, hospitals, clinics and healthcare providers. Stool samples from patients with with vomiting and diarrhea should be tested  for bacterial and parasitic pathogens with a specific request for … [Read more...]

Apple Cider Outbreak in Pike County, IL Grows to 70 Sick

The food poisoning outbreak linked to apple cider consumed and sold at the Pike County Fall Color Drive in Illinois on October 17 and 18, 2015 has grown to include at least 70 people as of November 6, 2015. Adams and Pike County Health Departments are investigating the outbreak. Those sickened drank apple cider from vendors at several different locations during the event. Those sickened have been experiencing diarrhea, cramping, and vomiting. Case patients range in age from less than one year to 89 years old. Several people have been hospitalized because their illnesses have been so serious. The illness onset rates in this outbreak range from October 18 through November 4, 2015. New illnesses are being reported daily, according to public health officials. Symptoms include profuse … [Read more...]

Cryptosporidium Outbreak in Pike County, IL Linked to Apple Cider

A cryptosporidium outbreak in Pike County, Illinois has sickened at least 30 people, according to the Pike County Health Department. The initial announcement stated that the outbreak pathogen had not yet been identified, and directed health care providers to test patients for both E. coli and Cryptosporidium. Those sickened attended the Pike County Fall Color Drive on October 17 and 18, 2015 in Barry, Illinois. This event is a large fall festival that spans several communities in the county. Patients who have been sick consumed apple cider from vendors at two locations.  News reports have identified the outbreak as cryptosporidiosis, and the symptoms mentioned in the press release from Pike County are those of cryptosporidiosis. Symptoms of those sickened include profuse and … [Read more...]

Cryptosporidiosis Outbreak in Johnson County, Kansas

The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JDCHE) has reported that there is a Cryptosporidiosis outbreak in that area. This illness is caused by the protozoan Cryptosporidium parvum. The outbreak is associated with swimming pools in Overland Park and Shawnee. The pool in Overland Park is privately owned and managed by a homeowners' association. That pool has been closed. The City of Shawnee has performed a shock treatment to the pool. This kills the protozoa and removes any potential danger. Public health officials have determined that there is "no public health risk at Shawnee's city pools and that they are safe for the public to continue to visit." So far, three people have been sickened in this outbreak. Logan Marsh, JCDHE director said in a statement, "at this … [Read more...]

Cryptosporidiosis Outbreak Associated with Raw Milk in TN

The Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) is investigating multiple gastrointestinal disease reports among people who consumed raw milk before they got sick. Two cases of cryptosporidiosis have been confirmed in people who live in the Chattanooga/Hamilton County Region. Both cases are associated with raw milk consumption from a dairy cow share program. In the last few months, other individuals have been interviewed about sporadic cases of Campylobacter and Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), who also drank raw milk from different sources. TDH Commissioner Dr. John Dreyzehener said, "Consuming raw milk in the belief it's healthier than pasteurized milk is a perilous risk that shakes off the possibility of a range of serious and occasionally fatal illnesses for the individuals and … [Read more...]

Cryptosporidium a Frequent Source of Waterpark, Pool Outbreaks

Cryptosporidium is a frequent source of waterpark and pool outbreaks according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Cryptosporidium is a parasite that causes watery diarrhea, cramps, nausea and other symptoms that last for 10 days. The report looked at waterborne outbreaks reported from 32 states and Puerto Rico in 2011 and 2012. During that time period, 90 treated recreational water outbreaks  that caused 1, 788 illnesses, 95 hospitalizations and one death were reported. Recreational water outbreaks happen when contaminated water is accidentally ingested. The source was determined in 73 of the outbreaks.  Of those, 37 were caused by Cryptosporidium, a parasite that can survive CDC-recommended chlorine levels and is not trapped in filters.  The … [Read more...]

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