November 29, 2021

When Should You Call the Doctor If You Have Food Poisoning?

We talk about food poisoning all the time on this site. We have told you about the different pathogens such as Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria monocytogenes, what foods they are likely to contaminate, and the symptoms of the infections those pathogens cause. But there's one question that needs to be answered: When should you call the doctor if you have food poisoning?   Of course, call your doctor if you are worried about anything pertaining to your health. But there are specific symptoms that the government says you should look for when you have food poisoning that should trigger an immediate call. First of all, there are certain groups that should always call if they contract a food poisoning infection. They include adults over the age of 65, pregnant women, parents … [Read more...]

Possible E. coli Outbreak at Portillo’s Restaurant in Glendale Heights, Illinois

A possible E. coli outbreak at Portillo's restaurant in Glendale Heights, Illinois may have sickened four people, according to news reports. There is no information about this potential outbreak on the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) website. Portillo's management has stated that they are cooperating with the investigation. The Chicago Tribune reports that IDPH stated in a health alert, "Four cases of a toxin producing the bacteria and one case of a resultant blood syndrome stemmed from customers eating at [the restaurant]." That most likely means that four people have E. coli infections and one person has developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a type of kidney failure. The patients allegedly ate at the restaurant, which is located at 235 East North … [Read more...]

Sampling Conducted in Multistate Cake Mix E. coli Outbreak

Sampling and analysis has been conducted in the ongoing multistate cake mix E. coli outbreak, according to an update on the FDA's Core Outbreak Investigation Table.  The government has also conducted traceback and has conducted an on-site inspection. Still, there is no word on any possible brand names in this outbreak. Sixteen people in twelve states are ill in this outbreak. Seven people have been hospitalized, and one person has developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a type of kidney failure. No recall has been issued. And sadly, the median age in this outbreak is just 13, most likely because kids love to eat uncooked batter and dough. The cake mix that is linked to this outbreak may be a national brand, since illnesses are spread all across the country, from … [Read more...]

Cake Mix E. coli Outbreak Sickens 16 in Twelve States; One HUS Case

A cake mix E. coli outbreak has been announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Sixteen people in twelve states are sick. Seven people have been hospitalized. The patient case count by state is: Illinois (2), Indiana (1), Iowa (2), Massachusetts (1), Michigan (1), Nebraska (2), Ohio (2), Oregon (1), South Carolina (1), Utah (1), Virginia (1), and Washington (1). The patient age range is from 2 t0 73 years, with a median age of 13. The age range for outbreaks linked to baking ingredients usually skews young; 75% of children in this outbreak are under the age of 18. The hospitalization rate is 44%. That is high for an E. coli outbreak, which is usually around 20%. And one person has developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure. The … [Read more...]

Who Are High Risk Populations in Food Poisoning Outbreaks?

When Food Poisoning Bulletin writes about outbreaks, we always mention how some groups are more likely to suffer serious illness and complications if they get sick. Who are high risk populations? And why are they high risk in the first place? The main groups that are at higher risk for problems if they contract a food poisoning infection include: The elderly Pregnant women Very young children Anyone with a chronic illness Anyone who has a compromised immune system These groups are more susceptible to hospitalization for different reasons. Anyone who has a family member in one of these groups should take extra care in cooking food safely and should keep up with food recalls and outbreak notices. Elderly people are more susceptible to serious problems from food … [Read more...]

Adult STEC HUS Disease More Serious and Fatal Than in Children

A new study published in Emerging Infectious Diseases has found that adult STEC HUS disease is more serious and fatal than the same disease in children, even though children are far more likely to develop this complication after an E. coli infection. The retrospective study looked at Shiga toxin-associated hemolytic uremic syndrome in 96 adults who lived in France from 2009 to 2017. The researchers found that 20% of adults in France who had STEC HUS disease died during hospitalization, while less than one percent of children who had STEC-associated HUS died  during the same years. The deaths were concentrated in the age group of 60+ years. Furthermore, adults had cerebral involvement three times more often than children. More than 52% of adult patients had severe neurologic … [Read more...]

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...]

Organic Yogurt E. coli Outbreak Expands, Investigation Continues

An E. coli outbreak linked to organic yogurt sold under the brand names Pure Eire and PCC Market now includes 16 cases, a spokesperson told Food Poisoning Bulletin today. Most of the people sickened are children. Ten people have been hospitalized, and four have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a form of kidney failure associated with E. coli infections. The organic yogurt E. coli outbreak includes 14 cases in Washington and two cases in Arizona. Both cases in Arizona are considered secondary infections, meaning the Arizona patients did not eat the yogurt but were in close contact with a visitor from Wahington who did. The grass-fed, organic yogurt associated with the outbreak is produced by Pure Eire Dairy of Othello, WA  and sold under the brand names Pure Eire and PCC … [Read more...]

Three Iowa Children Hospitalized with HUS After E. coli Infections

Three Iowa children hospitalized with HUS after they contracted E. coli infections have been identified by several different newspapers in that state. The Jackson County Health Department does not know what the source of these illnesses is, and we do not know if the children are all sickened by the same strain of E. coli. TV6 is reporting that viewers are telling the station that there may be more cases throughout Jackson County. It's also worth nothing that there was a boil water notice in the city of Maquoketa, where all three of these children live, in late May. The Sentinel Press reports that 12-year-old Shane Howell's  mother noticed that was not acting like himself, so she immediately got him to the doctor. He, along with two other children, is hospitalized at the University … [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...]

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