December 14, 2019

Fresh Thyme Blackberries Hepatitis A Outbreak Sickens 16 in 6 States

The Fresh Thyme blackberries hepatitis A outbreak¬†has now sickened 16 people in 6 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Epidemiologic and traceback evidence has found that those sickened in this outbreak ate fresh, conventionally grown blackberries from that store chain. The patient case count by state is: Indiana (2), Michigan (1), Minnesota (1), Nebraska (7), Wisconsin (4), and Missouri (1). The patient age range is from 14 to 73 years. Illness onset dates ranges from October 8, 2019 to November 15, 2019. Of 15 people who gave information about their health to the government, 9, or 60%, have been hospitalized. That is a very high hospitalization rate for hepatitis A outbreaks. Of people who were interviewed, 15 out of 15 said they ate fresh … [Read more...]

After Five E. coli O157:H7 HUS Outbreaks, Is Romaine Safe to Eat?

In the past two years, there have been five E. coli romaine lettuce outbreaks in the United States. We have to ask: Is romaine safe to eat? The government is having great difficulty trying to trace back romaine that is responsible for these illnesses to the responsible farm, supplier, or distributor. ¬†So far, 387 Americans have been sickened in these Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) outbreaks, 181 have been hospitalized, 35 have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure, and 6 have died. There have been a few recalls during these outbreaks, and the FDA has been able to identify the growing areas in a few outbreaks. One outbreak was linked to a specific farm in California. But the CDC outbreak notices typically state, "No common grower, supplier, … [Read more...]

Fresh Thyme Blackberries Hepatitis A Outbreak Has Now Sickened 14

The Fresh Thyme Blackberries hepatitis A outbreak has now sickened at least 14 people in five states, according to the FDA. Minnesota has been added to the states where ill persons live. The other states with patients are Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. That's an increase of three more patients in the last four days since the first investigation announcement. Eight people have been hospitalized because they are so sick, which is a very high hospitalization rate for hepatitis A outbreaks. The last illness onset date was November 15, 2019. Since it can take two weeks after exposure for symptoms to appear, this outbreak is likely to grow. Based on epidemiological information, patients said they ate fresh conventionally grown blackberries purchased from Fresh Thyme Market … [Read more...]

One Minnesota Patient in Romaine E. coli O157:H7 HUS Outbreak

There is one Minnesota patient in Romaine E. coli O157:H7 HUS outbreak announced last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This patient is part of a fast growing outbreak that climbed from 17 sick on November 19, 2019 to 40 sick on November 22, 2019. That patient has developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure that is a complication of a Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) infection. This complication most often affects children under the age of five. That patient has been hospitalized. The outbreak has affected 40 people in 16 states. The patient age range is from 3 to 89 years. Illness onset dates range from September 4, 2019 to November 10, 2019, but the notice states that "additional cases are under investigation," so the … [Read more...]

E. coli HUS Outbreak: Forty Sick, CDC Says Avoid All Romaine From Salinas, CA

The CDC just posted a food safety alert, telling consumers that in the wake of the newest E. coli HUS outbreak, they should avoid buying or eating all romaine lettuce from the Salinas, California growing region until more information is available. This is an echo of the same advice from the CDC last April, when another, deadly E. coli O157:H7 outbreak was linked to romaine. The advice in 2018 was to avoid all romaine lettuce until officials found the source. This newest outbreak is growing by leaps and bounds. Now 40 people in 16 states are sick. That's an increase of 23 more patients and 8 more states in just the last two days. Twenty-eight people have been hospitalized, which is a very high percentage of cases. Five people have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a … [Read more...]

CDC Investigating E. coli O157:H7 Romaine Outbreak Including MD and WI Illnesses

An E. coli O157:H7 romaine outbreak that includes illnesses reported by Maryland and Wisconsin has just been announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Maryland outbreak was announced on November 18, 2019, and the Wisconsin outbreak was announced on November 16, 2019, although the first indication of the Wisconsin illnesses was posted on ProMED-mail. So far, the CDC says that 17 people are sick in 8 states. The case count by state is: Arizona (1), California (2), Colorado (1), Idaho (3), Maryland (2), Montana (1), Washington (1), and Wisconsin (6). The case count for Maryland posted by the CDC is different from the case count posted by the Maryland Department of Health, which is seven sick. So there may be as many as 22 people who are ill in this … [Read more...]

Wisconsin E. coli O157 HUS Outbreak Identified

An E. coli O157 outbreak has been identified in Wisconsin. The press release states, "Between November 13 and November 15, 2019, the Wisconsin Division of Public Health (DPH) Communicable Diseases Epidemiology Section has observed a significant increase in the number of reported cases of Escherichia coli (E. coli) O157 infection. We are treating this as an outbreak. Cases have been reported from numerous jurisdictions within Wisconsin, and have not been isolated to a single region. One associated case of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) has also been reported." Officials do not yet know what food may be the source of the pathogen, but we do know that three women from northwest Wisconsin were diagnosed with what appears to be an E. coli O157 infection; they ate "lots of salads" before … [Read more...]

Possible Wisconsin E. coli O157 Outbreak Associated With Salads

UPDATE: There may be as many as 9 people sickened in this possible outbreak, according to some reports. We'll keep you updated. According to a notice posted on ProMED-mail on November 14, 2019, a possible Wisconsin E. coli O157 outbreak may be associated with salads. ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseases and tracks illnesses and possible disease outbreaks around the world. Launched in 1994, it is considered an early warning system for healthcare workers. The notice states, "Over the past 5 days, our health care facility in northwest Wisconsin, USA, has seen 3 women hospitalized with _E coli_ O157 infection. All presented with significant abdominal pain without fever and watery diarrhea which in 2 progressed to bloody diarrhea. None of the 3 … [Read more...]

E. coli Outbreak Associated With New Seasons Market Ground Beef in Portland, OR

An E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in Portland, Oregon is associated with ground beef sold at meat counters in three New Seasons Market stores. Three people in the metro area are sick after eating New Seasons Market ground beef purchased at those outlets. All are recovering from their illness, according to a press release by the Oregon Health Authority. The company is also issuing a recall. The recalled fresh ground beef was sold at the company's North Lombard, North Interstate, and Cedar Hills store locations. The product comes in 5%, 10%, and 20% fat content varieties. The beef is ground at the stores before sale. The ground beef was purchased between October 19, 2019 and October 23, 2019. If you purchased these products, throw them away in a sealed container, even if you planned to cook … [Read more...]

Wild Ginger Restaurant Campylobacter Outbreak in Cortland, NY

The Cortland County Health Department has announced a Wild Ginger restaurant Campylobacter outbreak that has sickened seven people (it may be eight), according to news reports. Those sickened ate at that restaurant between October 18 and October 31, 2019. The Asian Fusion restaurant is located at 47 Main Street in Cortland, New York. All seven patients have lab confirmed infections. The testing is continuing, so there may be more illnesses announced. The Health Department has alerted health care providers in the area to be on the lookout for patients presenting with the symptoms of campylobacteriosis. Those symptoms include fever, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea that may be bloody. Most people recover on their own after this infection, but some, especially people … [Read more...]

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