April 26, 2017

CDC Joins Shigella Outbreak Investigation in Michigan

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has joined the investigation of the 2016 Shigella outbreak in Michigan that has sickened 177 people. Those cases are in two counties: Saginaw and Genesee, which is where Flint is located. At least 27 people have been hospitalized in this particular outbreak because their illnesses were so severe. Officials say that there were fewer new shigellosis cases in September, and the cases that were reported in October are being analyzed. The CDC is working with state and local officials, partner organizations, and community residents to try to find the source of this outbreak. The illnesses in this outbreak were reported to public health officials between March 1 and October 26, 2016. While there are typically about 300 to 400 cases of … [Read more...]

Shigella Outbreak in Flint, Michigan Adds to City’s Woes

A Shigella outbreak in Flint, Michigan in Genesee County is compounding the trouble in that city that began when an administrator appointed by Governor Rick Snyder switched the city's water supply from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department to the Flint River to save money. Government officials did not treat the water with anti-corrosive compounds. Residents began complaining almost immediately about foul-smelling, discolored water. The water was so corrosive it leached lead from old pipes in the city's water system and homes. Many of the city's children have now suffered lead poisoning, with possibly permanent health consequences. A Legionnaires' Disease outbreak, which sickened 87 people and killed 10 people, may have also been connected to the water switch, although no … [Read more...]

E. coli Grassfields Cheese Sold at Some Michigan Restaurants

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has issued a press release about the E. coli outbreak linked to the consumption of recalled Grassfields cheeses. At least seven people are sick with non-O157:H7 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli infections. Six of those sickened live in Calhoun, St. Clair, Wayne, Kent, and Livingston counties in Michigan; a seventh case is from out of state. The six people in Michigan have laboratory confirmed illnesses and are ill with the same outbreak strain of E. coli bacteria. Several of those sickened reported eating meals made with Grassfields cheese products in "multiple restaurant settings," according to the press release. Samples of the cheeses have been collected from restaurants and from the Grassfields Cheese facility in Coopersville, … [Read more...]

Grassfields Cheese Recalled for E. coli; Associated With Outbreak

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is warning the public not to consume Grassfields Cheese, because it may be contaminated with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli bacteria (STEC). About 20,000 pounds of organic cheeses are being recalled. The cheese was sold from the firm's retail store at 14238 60th Avenue in Coopersville, Michigan to wholesale and retail customers. The cheese was also sold nationwide through the company's website. The cheese is associated with a STEC outbreak that has sickened at least seven people between March and July 2016. All of those sickened have the same outbreak strain of E. coli bacteria. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development's Geagley Laboratory confirmed the presence of STEC bacteria in a sample of … [Read more...]

Twelve Now Dead in Flint, MI Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak

A statement that two more people in the Flint area have been added to the death toll of the Legionnaires' Disease outbreak has been released by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). That outbreak may be linked to the city's contaminated water supply. Public health officials reviewed hospital data and discovered three more cases; two of those people died. Now 12 people are dead from Legionnaires' Disease in that city in this particular outbreak. Ninety-one confirmed cases of the illness were diagnosed from June 2014 through October 2015, after a city manager appointed by Republican governor Rick Snyder, changed the city's water supply from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department to the Flint River to save money. Residents immediately noticed that the water … [Read more...]

In Flint, Warnings About Legionnaires’ Disease as Warm Weather Approaches

Legionnaires' Disease outbreaks are more common in warm weather, which is bad news for the people in Flint, Michigan. Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, said in a statement, "to continue the joint efforts to protect the health of residents in the city of Flint, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and Wayne State University are working to ensure that residents are aware of the potential for disease spread as the warmer months approach." The Legionnaires' outbreak in Flint, which is in Genesee County, has now claimed 10 lives as of March 18, 2016. At least 88 people have been sickened in this outbreak. Of the 88 confirmed cases, 35% received city of Flint water to their residences. This is important … [Read more...]

Illness Outbreak at Michigan State University’s Kellogg Center

Officials from the Ingham County Health Department in Michigan are reporting that at least 120 people are sick after attending events at the Michigan State University's Kellogg Center in mid February. The number of those confirmed sick will probably increase as more people report their illnesses. The outbreak was initially centered on an event that took place at that venus on February 18, 2016, but has expanded to include all events in the Kellogg Center between Tuesday, February 16, 2016 and Sunday, February 21, 2016. If you were at the Kellogg Center during that time frame, for whatever reason, whether or not you got sick, please take an online survey to help officials with their investigation. You can find the survey online, or leave a message at 517-887-4312. Linda S. Vail, … [Read more...]

Michigan Hit Hard in Dole Salad Listeriosis Outbreak

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, four people from Michigan have been sickened in the Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to Dole prepackaged salads. A Dole brand Field Greens packaged salad was collected in Ohio in mid-January 2016 and tested positive for a Listeria isolate that was "highly related genetically" to isolates taken from ill patients. The salad was produced at the Springfield, Ohio Dole processing facility. Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates that packaged salads produced at the Dole facility are the likely source of this outbreak. Dole has stopped production at that facility and has withdrawn all salads produced at that facility from the market. Illnesses in this particular outbreak go back to July 5, 2015. All of the 12 people … [Read more...]

Expert Says Flint’s Water “Likely Contributed” to Legionnaires’ Outbreak

According to the Detroit News, an expert for McLaren Regional Medical Center stated that Flint's contaminated water "likely contributed" to the Legionnaires' Disease outbreak in Genesee County. The pathogenic bacteria was found in that hospital's water supply, and a "high number" of those diagnosed with the illness (16 of the 45 cases in that county) were patients at the hospital before they got sick. Janet Stout, a research associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering told the paper "the water quality issues, from a microbiological point of view, certainly were a factor in the increase in Legionnaires' Disease in Genesee County." She also said that the legionella bacteria probably entered the hospital via "brown water", delivered by the Flint … [Read more...]

Flint’s Water Supply: Lead and Legionnaires’ Disease

Severe water quality problems in Flint Michigan have caught the eye of consumer advocates and activists around the country. In 2014, the city disconnected the city from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department and provided residents with water from the Flint River because it was cheaper. Residents noticed changes in the color, taste, and smell coming out of their taps right away. Testing showed high levels of bacteria, which forced city administrators to issue boil advisories, and to increase the amount of chlorine put into the water. That meant the water also contained high levels of "potentially carcinogenic disinfectant byproducts," according to Food & Water Watch. Because this water was more corrosive, lead leached into Flint's drinking water. And now many residents have lead … [Read more...]

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