August 19, 2017

Mystery of Two MN Children with E. coli Infections Unsolved

The Minnesota Department of Health has ended its investigation into two E. coli illnesses in Wright County. Two young children, siblings, were sickened with the deadly pathogen. One of the little ones died, and the other is recovering at home. Both children developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure, after they acquired the infections. The strain of bacteria that caused the illnesses is Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, or STEC, also known as STEC O145. Another undetermined type of STEC was also found in isolates. Investigators looked at all known potential sources of E. coli bacteria as they tried to figure out where the bacteria came from. Those sources included foods such as ground beef, leafy greens, and raw milk, along with swimming, person-to-person … [Read more...]

Deadly Papaya Salmonella Outbreak Has Sickened 141

The deadly Salmonella outbreak linked to imported Maradol papayas has now sickened at least 141 people in 19 states, according to the latest update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Thirty two more ill people from 15 states have been added to the investigation since the last update last Friday. Three more states have now reported patents: Illinois, Ohio, and Texas. The case count by state is: Connecticut (5), Delaware (4), Iowa (2), Illinois (2), Kentucky (3), Louisiana (2), Maryland (8), Massachusetts (6), Michigan (1), Minnesota (4), North Carolina (3), New Jersey (27) New York (39), Ohio (1), Oklahoma (4), Pennsylvania (8), Texas (7), Virginia (14), and Wisconsin (1). Forty-five ill persons have been hospitalized. One death was reported from New York … [Read more...]

Deadly Salmonella Papaya Outbreak Sickens 109

The deadly Salmonella Kiambu outbreak linked to papayas has now sickened at least 109 people in 16 states. That's an increase of 64 more ill persons from the last update on July 21, 2017. Six more states have reported patients since then: Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin. This outbreak began when Maryland officials started investigating a Salmonella cluster in their state. They found two types of Salmonella: Kiambu and Thompson. Officials were not sure if those sickened with Salmonella Thompson were part of this outbreak. Now, laboratory tests showed that the strain of Salmonella Thompson isolated from papayas collected in the Maryland investigation is "closely related genetically" to clinical isolates from patients so they are part of the … [Read more...]

FDA Comments on Deadly Papaya Salmonella Outbreak

The FDA is weighing in on the deadly Salmonella outbreak linked to Maradol papayas. Samples taken from this variety of fruit have teated positive for the outbreak strains of Salmonella Kimbu and Salmonella Thompson found in ill persons. Maradol papayas are green before they ripen and turn yellow. Do not eat Caribeña brand papayas regardless of the color. If you have these papayas in your home, throw them away in a sealed package immediately. At this time, Caribeña brand papayas from Mexico have been identified as a brand linked to these illnesses, but the CDC is advising consumers not to eat any Maradol papayas. Additional brands that may be associated with this outbreak will be announced as government officials identify them. The CDC reports that 47 people in 12 states have been … [Read more...]

Salmonella Outbreak at Duffy’s Bar and Grill in Osseo, MN

Doug Schultz, Information Officer at the Minnesota Department of Health told Food Poisoning Bulletin that there is a Salmonella outbreak investigation involving Duffy's Bar and Grill in Osseo, Minnesota. Five people have been sickened in this outbreak. The patient age range is from 28 to 80 years told. Two of the patients have been hospitalized because their illnesses were so severe. All of the patients have recovered. Interventions were put into place at the facility, according to Schultz, and there is no evidence of any ongoing transmission, since the last patient who was sickened at there on February 26, 2017. There is no information about what caused the outbreak. The outbreak could have been caused through contaminated food, through cross-contamination, or by an ill … [Read more...]

Top 10 Multistate Outbreaks of 2016: Number 8 Jack & The Green Sprouts

The eighth largest food poisoning outbreak in 2016 was a multistate outbreak of E. coli O157 infections linked to alfalfa sprouts produced by Jack & the Green Sprouts. Eleven people in two states were sickened in this outbreak. Two people were hospitalized. The case count by state is: Minnesota (8), and Wisconsin (3). No one developed hemolytic uremic syndrome in this outbreak, and no one died. The facility that produced the sprouts is located in River Falls, Wisconsin. Epidemiological evidence indicates that that facility is the likely source of the outbreak. Raw sprouts are a known source of foodborne illness. People in high risk groups, such as the elderly, the very young, people with chronic illnesses, and those with compromised immune systems should not eat raw … [Read more...]

Pritzker Hageman Files Lawsuit in Hopkins MN Legionnaires’ Outbreak

The law firm of Pritzker Hageman has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a client who was sickened in the Legionnaires' Disease outbreak in Hopkins, Minnesota. The lawsuit was filed in Hennepin County District Court on October 13, 2016 (file no. 27-CV-16-15044). The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) identified the source of the pathogenic bacteria on October 12, 2016, as cooling towers at Citrus Systems. Citrus Systems' facility is located at 415 11th Avenue South in Hopkins. Public health officials based their conclusion on the distribution of cases and where they live, work, or were in Hopkins, along with the test results from water samples taken from Citrus Systems' cooling towers. Laboratory tests found the outbreak strain of Legionella bacteria in one of the towers. Cooling towers … [Read more...]

Citrus Systems Products Not Involved with MN Legionnaires Outbreak

The Minnesota State Department of Health is telling the public that food products made and packaged at the Citrus Systems facility in Hopkins are not affected by nor involved in the Legionnaires' Disease outbreak linked to that facility. Consumers have been calling MDH with questions about this outbreak. The Citrus Systems building is a beverage processing and distribution facility. They also develop and formulate products, design labels, and offer shipping. The water system used to make the beverages is completely separate from the system used by the cooling towers. Legionella bacteria do not cause illness through eating food or drinking water or beverages. The infection is also not passed person-to-person. The only way to get Legionnaires' Disease is by inhaling the bacteria in … [Read more...]

MN Identifies Source of Hopkins Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) announced today that it has identified the likely source of the Legionnaires' Disease outbreak in Hopkins. A set of cooling towers at Citrus Systems, Inc., at 415 11th Avenue South in Hopkins tested positive for the pathogenic bacteria. Test results of water samples taken from Citrus System's cooling towers showed the outbreak strain of bacteria. The bacteria matched the strain of bacteria taken from patients sickened in this outbreak. Other cooling towers in the area were sampled, but none of them had the outbreak strain of Legionella. Twenty-three people have been sickened in this outbreak. Of those patients, 17 were hospitalized. One person died. The last date that an illness was reported was on September 22, 2016, almost three weeks … [Read more...]

Minnesota Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak Sickens 23

The Minnesota Department of Health says that 23 people who live or work in Hopkins have contracted Legionnaires' Disease. Three more cases were confirmed by MDH between September 28 and September 30, 2016. The most recent illness onset date is September 22. According to that news release, seven cooling towers in that city are being investigated in connection to this outbreak. As of September 29, 2016, all of those cooling towers have been or are being remediated by their owners. Remediation is complex and can consist of heating the water in the building's system to 157°F, draining tanks, cleaning them, chlorination, and frequent re-testing. Interviews with patients or their family members didn't uncover a common exposure, such as visits to a restaurant, store, or specific … [Read more...]

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