September 29, 2016

E. coli Outbreak at Sturgeon Elementary School in Missouri

According to the Sturgeon R-V School District in Sturgeon, Missouri in Boone County, an E. coli outbreak has sickened four students at the Sturgeon Elementary School. All of the students were in the early Elementary classes. The Boone County Health Department has confirmed the illnesses, according to a letter sent to preK-8 parents and high school parents on September 7, 2016. Andrea Warner, Public Information Office of the Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services, told Food Poisoning Bulletin that there are four confirmed cases of STEC O157:H7 and two probable cases. All of those sickened are preschool and school-aged children. The first onset date is August 12, 2016 and the most recent is August 30, 2016. The infection was diagnosed before the school year start … [Read more...]

Shigella Outbreak in Central Missouri Sickens 70

The Moniteau County Health Department is investigating a Shigella outbreak in central Missouri. That town, in central Missouri, has more than 70 cases among students, faculty, and family members. Officials are not identifying the school district where this outbreak is occurring, but ABC17 has said it is Tipton. The schools in that county are Tipton, California, Clarksburg Elementary, Jamestown High School, Latham Elementary School, and others. Andrea Kincaid, RN/Administrator at the Moniteau County Health Center stated, "we have been actively involved in educating school officials and families on how to minimize transmission of this bacteria." Shigella infections are very contagious and can spread from young children to other family members and people in the community. People … [Read more...]

Missouri Residents Sickened with Salmonella After Eating Sweetwater Sprouts

Three people in the state of Missouri have been sickened in the multistate Salmonella Muenchen outbreak linked to Sweetwater Farms raw alfalfa sprouts. Five ill persons have been hospitalized in this outbreak, but we don't know whether any of them are from Missouri. So far, thirteen people have been sickened so far. Collaborative investigations have indicated that alfalfa sprouts produced by Sweetwater Farms of Inman, Kansas are a likely source of this outbreak. Laboratory testing isolated Salmonella bacteria from samples of irrigation water and from alfalfa sprouts collected during a recent inspection at Sweetwater Farms. Test results on whether those bacteria are the outbreak strain are pending. Public health officials have interviewed twelve people and found that 10 of them, or … [Read more...]

Legionnaires Outbreak at Best Western in Hannibal, Missouri

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services states that a Legionnaires' Disease outbreak occurred at the Best Western on the River Hotel in Hannibal. Three people staying at that hotel over the past eight months contracted the illness, and one person died. The popular hotel was shut down in November when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention took samples. Four rooms tested positive for the Legionella bacteria. Officials do not know what caused the outbreak. The hotel is in two parts. One is brand new, and the other is older. Older buildings can be problematic for Legionella bacteria. The older structure is still closed. The Legionella bacteria lives in water systems, such as plumbing, heating and cooling systems, cooling towers, hot tubs, shower heads, … [Read more...]

Costco E. coli O157:H7 Chicken Salad Outbreak: It’s the Veggies

The FDA has announced that it appears onions and celery in Costco chicken salad may be the source of E. coli O157:H7 bacteria that has sickened at least 19 people in 7 states. Those people live in California (1), Colorado (4), Missouri (1), Montana (6), Utah (5), Virginia (1), and Washington state (1). According to news outlets, Taylor Farms in Salinas, California is the supplier of the vegetables for Costco Wholesale. The vegetables from that supplier are used in the chicken salads sold in all of the company's U.S. stores. Of those 19 ill persons, 16 have been interviewed. Fourteen of those people purchased or ate rotisserie chicken salad from Costco stores the week before they got sick. Five of the patients have been hospitalized, and two are suffering from hemolytic uremic syndrome … [Read more...]

Possible Shigella Outbreak at Kansas City MO School Sickens Children

The Kansas City Missouri Health Department is issuing an alert about the number of reported Shigella cases in that area. This illness is an infectious diarrheal disease caused by the Shigella bacteria. There are usually only about 10 cases of Shigella every year in that city, but since January 1, 2015, there have been more than 190 cases reported to public health officials. That is up from 143 cases reported in late September. And about 60 students at Faxon Elementary School have become ill and may have the illness. The symptoms the children are experiencing are similar to Shigella poisoning. There are actually three different strains in this particular outbreak, making the illness difficult to treat. Shigella bacteria are found in the feces of humans and other primates. The illness, … [Read more...]

Listeria Deaths in Caramel Apple Outbreak Raise Total for Year

One Listeria death for every five cases of listeriosis is the average mortality rate for Listeria food poisoning cases tracked in the United States by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is an average that fit the caramel apple Listeria outbreak with the same tragic consequences that health experts saw in other outbreaks of listeriosis in 2014. The seven case patients who died with listeriosis after eating pre-packaged, commercially produced caramel apples  lifted last year's Listeria death total in the U.S. to 13, from four outbreaks. State and federal agencies have associated the caramel apple outbreak with fruit supplied by California-based Bidart Brothers Inc. In all, 13 of 50 Listeria outbreak case patients died and one fetal loss was suffered. Not every … [Read more...]

Missouri Links Were Central to Caramel Apple Listeria Outbreak

Five Missouri residents were confirmed as case patients in the Listeria caramel apple outbreak and two Missouri food companies were involved in key recalls of caramel apples that they distributed around the country. Only one other state besides Missouri had more than five listeriosis victims in the outbreak and one of the state's recalls covered caramel apples made by a Missouri company for Kroger stores in many different parts of the country. From the outset of public awareness of this outbreak in mid- to late-December, Missouri citizens and companies were in the discussion. On December 24, 2014, the Happy Apple Company of Washington, Missouri, issued a  recall of many Happy Apple Brand caramel apples because they had the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. Some … [Read more...]

Caramel Apple Listeria Deaths a Focus of Apple Associations

The California Apple Commission is working with other apple producing states and the U.S. Apple Association regarding the outbreak of listeriosis that state and federal health authorities have associated with commercially produced, pre-packaged caramel apples. In a December 23 newsletter piece about the deadly caramel apple outbreak, the state-authorized commission recapped some details of the investigation, quoting a CDC document that said  “at this time, no illnesses related to this outbreak have been linked to apples that are not caramel-coated and not prepackaged or to caramel candy.” As the newsletter stated, the investigation is still working to determine specific brands or types of commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples that may be linked to the illnesses. So far, … [Read more...]

Missouri Becomes a Noted Site of Caramel Apple Listeria Outbreak

Five Missourians have been confirmed as victims of a closely watched Listeria outbreak that state and national health officials have associated with pre-packaged, commercially produced caramel apples. As a leading site for the outbreak -- only one other state has had as many cases -- the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services is trying to trace where the tainted caramel apples were purchased. Ryan Hobart, a spokesman for the department, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that all of the Missouri Listeria cases were in the eastern or northeastern portion of the state. Hobart also said one of the state's case patients died, but that the cause of death was not Listeria poisoning. Among the 28 people in 10 states confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as … [Read more...]

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