October 21, 2016

Shigella Outbreak Sickens 167 in Dubuque County, Iowa

A Shigella outbreak that has sickened at least 167 people in Dubuque County, Iowa. The outbreak began in October 2015, but officials have just released information about it. The Dubuque County Health Department, the Dubuque County Board of Health, and the Iowa Department of Public Health are all investigating the outbreak. Shigellosis is the illness caused by this pathogenic bacteria. Symptoms include diarrhea that may be painful, bloody or full of mucous, fever, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal cramps. The bacteria is very contagious and is easy spread through food and drink, and person-to-person. The illness usually begins one to three days after exposure to the bacteria. Some people may have GI problems for several months after this illness. Shigellosis can develop into reactive … [Read more...]

Clostridium Perfringens Outbreak at Roosevelt High School, IA

The Polk County Health Department has released a report about a Clostridium perfringens food poisoning outbreak at the Roosevelt High School staff luncheon on October 22, 2015. That outbreak sickened at least 58 teachers with a diarrheal illness. Classes and after-school activities were cancelled in that school district to protect students. The Polk County Health Department worked with Des Moines Public School officials, the Iowa Department of Public Health, the Department of Inspections and Appeals and the State Hygienic Laboratory to investigate the outbreak. They interviewed 103 sick and well teachers and staff, including those who attended the lunch and those who did not. They also interviewed patients and ill food handlers, and tested stool samples and food samples. Two outside … [Read more...]

Raw Vegetables Associated with Iowa Cyclospora Food Poisoning

Fresh vegetables are the likely source of the Cyclospora outbreak in Iowa, but public health officials in the state haven't pinpointed the cause. A statement from the Iowa Department of Public Health said the correlation with unspecified fresh vegetables was derived from scientific food history interviews of case patients. The same epidemiological study found that fruit is not a likely cause. With the outbreak involving a rare pathogen and a number of additional cases reported in Nebraska and other Midwestern states, public health offiicials in various jurisdictions are revisiting Cyclospora and Cyclosporiasis (the disease it causes). Cyclosporiasis symptoms include a watery diarrhea that lasts an average of 57 days if untreated. Other symptoms include fatigue, loss of appetite, weight … [Read more...]

Iowa Schools Served Students Recalled Lettuce; Possible Listeria

The Iowa City Community School District served students recalled lettuce that may have been contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. The fifth largest school district in Iowa was notified Monday that a recall of retail and foodservice bagged salads produced by River Ranch Fresh Foods of Salinas Calif. had been issued after Listeria was detected in a finished product during random sampling. But for the Iowa school district, the notice was too late. During the previous two weeks, salad included in the recall had already been served to all 12,454 students in the district, according to a statement posted on the district's website. Tuesday, May 7, was chef salad day for the elementary schools, so the recalled lettuce was offered to all elementary students on that day, according to the … [Read more...]

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