May 22, 2018

Lawyer Warns of E. coli Danger at Petting Zoos

Attorneys Fred Pritzker and Ryan Osterholm are warning about the dangers of E. coli infections from petting zoos. As the weather warms and summer starts, petting zoos are popular attractions for families with young children. Unfortunately, those venues can be and have been the source of serious and even deadly E. coli outbreaks. The issue is that ruminant animals often held at petting zoos, such as goats, sheep, and cows, can carry Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) bacteria in their guts. The animals don't get sick from this pathogenic bacteria because they lack the gene that permits the bacteria to grow and produce toxins that destroy red blood cells. The bacteria are shed in the animal's feces. From there, they can get onto the animal's coat, its bedding, and the … [Read more...]

New Jersey Updates E. coli Outbreak That May Be Linked to a Restaurant Chain

The E. coli outbreak in New Jersey has been updated by the New Jersey Department of Health. Eight people living in four counties in that state have been diagnosed with E. coli infections. Those counties are Hunterdon (4 patients), Warren (1 patient), Middlesex (1 patient) and Somerset (2 patients.) There is a "possible association with a chain restaurant" according to the outbreak notice. But the notice also states that "the association may be broader than a single chain restaurant." Lab tests are underway, and public health officials are waiting to see if the strain of E. coli bacteria in the eight patents in this E. coli outbreak match. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will then conduct confirmatory tests. All eight patients have been hospitalized in this … [Read more...]

New Jersey Officials Investigating Panera Breads as Possible E. coli Source

According to news reports, officials in New Jersey are "investigating a cluster of E. coli cases" that may be associated with "local Panera Breads," according to Sarah Perramant, public health epidemiologist in Warren County. This was reported by yesterday afternoon. It's important to note that the cluster of E. coli illnesses in that state has not been definitively linked to the Panera restaurant chain, and that health officials have not determined that Panera is the source. In fact, the outbreak may extend beyond one single restaurant chain. The investigation is continuing, with investigators interviewing witnesses, conducting traceback investigations, and using other methods of outbreak epidemiology. The six people who are sick live in Hunterdon, Middlesex, Somersest, … [Read more...]

Possible E. coli Outbreak in New Jersey May be Linked to Unnamed Restaurant Chain

An E. coli outbreak that has sickened six people in four counties may be linked to a restaurant chain, according to news reports. The Health Department reportedly said that those six patients live in Hunterdon, Middlesex, Somersest, and Warren counties. There is no information about this potential E. coli outbreak on any of the New Jersey government websites. At this time we don't know the strain of bacteria that has made people sick, the ages of the patients, or illness onset dates. We also do not know if anyone has been hospitalized, or if anyone has developed HUS. Government officials are not naming the chain until this potential E. coli outbreak is confirmed. Officials are interviewing patients and asking where they have eaten in the past week, as well as the foods they … [Read more...]

E. coli HUS Outbreak Among Marines at Camp Pendleton Was the 5th Largest Outbreak of 2017

Number five of the top 10 food poisoning outbreaks of 2017 was the E. coli HUS outbreak at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego and the Edson Range at Camp Pendleton, California. As of November 3, 2017, about 69 Marines recruits had contracted this infection. More than a dozen recruits were hospitalized off base, and the rest were cared for on base. Nine of the Marines developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a serious complication of this infection that can cause kidney failure. The cause of this outbreak was never announced to the public. And the public was never told what was investigated. Other E. coli HUS outbreaks have been linked to anything from an ill employee who worked with food, to contaminated food or water. Brigadier General William Jurney, who is … [Read more...]

Nine Marines Have E. coli HUS Infections

The number of Marines sickened in the E. coli HUS outbreak at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego and Edson Range at Camp Pendleton, California keeps changing. As of November 3, 2017, an update on the MCRD San Diego Facebook page states that about 69 recruits are "symptomatic of E. coli exposure with diarrheal illness." Seventeen recruits are hospitalized off-base and the rest are receiving care on the base. Of the recruits hospitalized off-base, nine have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). This serious complication of an E. coli infection usually strikes young children under the age of five, but can affect people of any age. HUS is a type of kidney failure and can cause strokes, seizures, and death. Brig. Gen. William Jurney, commanding general of MCRD and the … [Read more...]

Marine E. coli Outbreak Updated; More Hospitalized

The Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego has updated their investigation into the Marine E. coli outbreak there and at Camp Pendleton. As of November 2, 2017, about 86 recruits have symptoms of an E. coli infection. Of those people, sixteen are hospitalized off-base. The remaining 70 are being cared for aboard the base. There are nineteen new cases in this particular outbreak, according to the marine Corps Recruit Depot Facebook page. The Marines sickened are at MCRD San Diego and the command's field training facilities at Edson Range at Camp Pendleton, California. The initial announcement of the outbreak on November 1, 2017 stated that 302 Marines were sick with the symptoms of this type of infection. Of those, 86 are undergoing treatment. Brig. Gen. William Jurney, commanding … [Read more...]

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...]

Mysterious E. coli Outbreak in LaCrosse, WI Hospitalizes 6 Kids

An E. coli outbreak has sickened at least eight people in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and hospitalized six children. The La Crosse County Health Department is investigating the outbreak, according to the La Crosse Tribune. Some of the children have recovered and have been released from the hospital. The bacteria that made them sick is E. coli O157. And they were hospitalized because they developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a complication of an E. coli infection that can cause kidney failure, strokes, seizures, and death. This type of bacteria releases shiga toxins, which travel through the bloodstream and kill red blood cells. Those dead and damaged cells can then clog the kidneys, causing them to fail. The Wisconsin Department of Health is assisting La Crosse County in … [Read more...]

Shiga Toxin-Producing E. coli and Food Safety

The CDC has information about Shiga toxin-producing E. coli and food safety you should know. Earlier this year there was a multistate E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to I.M. Healthy brand SoyNut Butter products that sickened 32 people in 12 states. Nine people in that outbreak developed HUS, a type of kidney failure. Some people may still have some of those products in their home. All flavors and sizes of I.M. Healthy SoyNut Butters and Granolas, and other products were recalled. If you have those products in your home, throw them away immediately. Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria are found everywhere; in the environment, in foods, and the intestines of people and some animals. While most of these bacteria are harmless, several types can cause serious illness and even death. … [Read more...]

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