November 28, 2021

Yogurt E. coli Outbreak: What is a Secondary Food Poisoning Infection?

In the Pure Eire yogurt E. coli outbreak that has sickened at least 16 people in Washington and Arizona, some of the patients have contracted secondary food poisoning infections. This term may not be familiar to everyone. So what is this type of infection? A secondary food poisoning infection occurs when someone gets sick from contact with another person, not by eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water. Many pathogens can be spread person-to-person, by direct contact and common contact with fomites (surfaces), both through the fecal-oral route. In the Pure Eire yogurt E. coli outbreak, for instance, two children in Arizona are sick with the outbreak strain, but neither consumed the recalled yogurt. Instead, they contracted this infection after having close contact … [Read more...]

Possible Iowa E. coli Outbreak Sickens Several Children With HUS

A possible Iowa E coli outbreak has sickened several children, according to the Telegraph Herald. The children, who live in Maquoketa in Jackson County, have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a type of kidney failure, and have been hospitalized at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital in Iowa City. The source of the pathogen has not been identified by local health officials. The Jackson County Health Department is trying to determine what have might have caused this outbreak. The type of E. coli bacteria that causes HUS is called Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, or STEC. The pathogen produces Shiga toxins, which attack the intestinal lining, causing bloody diarrhea. The toxin then travels through the bloodstream, where it attacks and kills red … [Read more...]

Pure Eire Yogurt E. coli Outbreak Sickens 15 in Washington and Arizona

The Pure Eire Yogurt E. coli outbreak has now sickened 15 people in Washington state and Arizona, according to an update by the Washington Department of Health. Nine people have been hospitalized, which is double the usual percentage for an E. coli outbreak, and four patients have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a kind of kidney failure. The Washington DOH is one;y reporting cases that have been genetically linked. Local health departments may report higher numbers that may include cases that are till under investigation. The case count by county in Washington state is: Benton (1), Clark (1), King (9), Snohomish (2), Walla Walla (1), and one case in Yavapai in Arizona. The Arizona patient was likely a secondary infection, meaning the person sickened was probably made … [Read more...]

Two E. coli Cases in Snohomish County, Washington Added to King County

Two E. coli cases in Snohomish County, Washington state, have been identified, according to a press release from the Snohomish Health District. These cases, in a 20-year-old woman and a 10-year-old child, are apparently connected to the seven children who are sick with Shiga Toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) infections in King County, Washington. The child has been hospitalized, but no further information about him or her has been shared with the public for patient privacy considerations. Dr. Chris Spitters, Health Information Officer for the Snohomish Health District, said in a statement, "The exact source of E. coli contamination can be difficult to pinpoint, but public health interviews lead us to believe the cases may be linked to eating fresh produce. While we continue working … [Read more...]

Seven Children Sick in Seattle E. coli Outbreak: Produce Possible Source

In the Seattle E. coli outbreak that has sickened at least seven children, officials now think that some type of produce is the source of the pathogen, according to Seattle King County Public Health. The case count has not changed. All cases are under the age of 15, with three under the age of five. Officials have identified "multiple types of fresh produce, mostly organic," in most of the cases but they cannot as of yet rule out other possibilities of the source of the illnesses.  The notice states, "We are still uncertain if these cases share the same source of their infection or not." All of the children have symptoms consistent with a Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) infection, which include abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea that is often bloody. Two … [Read more...]

Home Treated Flour May Not Be Safe Says Purdue Researcher

The risks of uncooked flour have been well documented through studies and food poisoning outbreaks linked to that ingredient. But many recipes, especially older ones, call for using flour that is not cooked. To be able to make these recipes without the risk of food poisoning, many sites have been advocating that home cooks treat their own flour. But a Purdue researcher says that home treated flour may not be safe after all. The typical "recipe" for treating raw flour at home is to spread it on a pan and microwave it or bake it in the oven until it reaches 160°F, the temperature at which E. coli and other pathogens are destroyed. Purdue food scientist Yoahua "Betty" Feng states that those treatments are not guaranteed to make the flour safe. She says that while heating meats or … [Read more...]

CDC Investigation of E. coli Outbreak Unknown Source 1 Ends

The FDA and CDC have announced that they have completed their investigation into two mystery E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks. Here we focus on the investigation into E. coli Outbreak Unknown Source 1. This outbreak is different from Unknown Source 2 and Unknown Source 3. And this outbreak is the number eight multistate outbreak of 2020 in terms of numbers of people sickened. The first completed investigation was into Outbreak Unknown Source 1, which has sickened 32 people in 12 states. The case count by state is: California (10), Illinois (3), Louisiana (1), Maryland (1), Michigan (2), Montana (2), New Jersey (1), Ohio (7), Utah (1), Virginia (1), Washington (1), and Wisconsin (2). Fifteen people were hospitalized because they were so sick, and one person who lived in Michigan died. One … [Read more...]

E. coli Outbreak at Acapulco Mexican Restaurant in Andover, MN

An E. coli outbreak at the Acapulco Mexican Restaurant in Andover, Minnesota has been confirmed by Doug Schultz, Information and Communications Officer for the Minnesota Department of Health. He said, "We are investigating a cluster of STEC cases that ate at the Andover location." That restaurant is located at 13753 Ibis St NW in Andover. The last time an ill person ate at that restaurant was in mid-August, 2019. The Minnesota Health Department does not consider this outbreak to be an ongoing situation. Dana Eikmeier, the epidemiologist working on this outbreak, told us that three adults were sickened. One was hospitalized, and no one developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). She also said it's likely that the DOH won't find the suspect food, since the case count was so … [Read more...]

Philadelphia E. coli Outbreak Grows to 19 Sick; No Source Found

The Philadelphia E. coli outbreak has grown to include 19 ill persons. James Garrow of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health updated Food Poisoning Bulletin in an email. The Department cannot confirm whether or not anyone has been hospitalized. The case count is accurate as of September 6, 2019. Public health officials continue investigating the source of the pathogen. The Health Alert stated that restaurants may be involved in this outbreak, but no specific restaurants have been named yet. The outbreak was originally reported on September 5, 2019. The age range of patients at that time was 7 to 90. This age range may have changed; but we don't know for sure. E. coli outbreaks in restaurants are not common, and most often are labeled "associated with" or "possible." … [Read more...]

MN State Fair E. coli Outbreak: Are These Outbreaks Common?

With the announcement yesterday of the MN State Fair E. coli outbreak that has sickened 11 people and hospitalized six, we were wondering how many other state and county fairs have had these serious outbreaks. Are these E. coli. outbreaks common at local, county, and state fairs? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. There have been quite a few E. coli outbreaks at state and county fairs over the years, and some have been deadly. These are the state and county fair outbreaks that have occurred since 2012: In 2012, a huge E. coli outbreak linked to the Cleveland County Fair in North Carolina sickened 106 people, including 65 children. Thirteen people were hospitalized in that outbreak, and one child died. Fair organizers banned petting zoos at the event after this outbreak. In … [Read more...]

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