October 26, 2016

Wellfleet Shellfish Beds Closed After Norovirus Outbreak

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries have announced that the shellfish beds in the town of Wellfleet on Cape Cod have been closed because of a large norovirus outbreak believed linked to the consumption of shellfish in that area. At least 75 suspect cases of norovirus were reported over a two day time period last week, mostly associated with eating raw shellfish at weddings and restaurants in the Outer Cape Cod area. The shellfish growing areas that are affected are Wellfleet Harbor, Herring River, Wellfleet Inner Harbor, and Loagy Bay. You can see maps of the closed regions at the Mass.gov web site. The symptoms of norovirus include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache, fever, chills, and muscle aches. This … [Read more...]

Norovirus Outbreak Sickens Carleton College Students

A norovirus outbreak has sickened at least 22 Carleton students, according to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Public health officials think that the students were sickened after they ate at Hogan Brothers' Acoustic Cafe in Northfield, Minnesota. Hogan Brothers' is a popular restaurant in town that serves custom made sandwiches. The restaurant is temporarily closed to clean and investigate what happened. The college has set up a form to report any stomach illness among students and staff. The college itself is reporting that about 20 to 25 students are ill with symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The news release on Carleton's website states that "it is very unlikely the illness is related to food served in any of the Carleton dining facilities." The form is to help … [Read more...]

Norovirus Outbreak at University of Rochester

The University of Rochester, New York, has released a statement stating that a norovirus-like outbreak at that campus has sickened at least 120 students. One student's test has returned positive for the virus. Most of those sickened live on River Campus, and others attend the Eastman School of Music. No students have been admitted to the hospital in this outbreak, although some have been treated in emergency departments. The Health Services director, Dr. Ralph Manchester, stated that the number of new cases per day is staring to decline. The outbreak was first recognized by the college on April 11, 2016. On April 15, 2016, there were 21 cases reported. Some students are still ill, while others have recovered. Symptoms include a sudden onset of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. This … [Read more...]

Oregon Norovirus Outbreak Linked to Yaquina Bay Oysters

An Oregon norovirus outbreak that has sickened 17 people has been linked to oysters from Yaquina Bay, according to the Oregon Health Authority. All of those sickened ate the oysters at Lincoln County restaurants between February 12 and February 14. One person was hospitalized, all have recovered.   Tests performed on an unopened jug of oysters collected from a restaurant tested positive for the same strain of norovirus found in stool samples from three of those sickened. A recall has been issued by Oregon Oyster Farms Inc. in  Newport for raw, ready-to-eat shucked oysters sold in half-gallons, one-pint plastic tubs and 10-ounce plastic jars, with sell-by dates of February 19 through March 8. And for oysters sold in mesh bags containing five dozen in-shell oysters with harvest dates … [Read more...]

Norovirus Outbreak at University of Michigan

Almost 100 students are sick at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor with what has been confirmed as a norovirus outbreak. The first illnesses were reported a week ago, with people suffering with vomiting and diarrhea.  At least 25 people have been to emergency rooms in the area. Those sickened all live in university housing. Dr. Robert Winfield, the University's chief health officer said, "we believe that this number does not reflect the actual extent of the illness, as students are generally following our advice to self-isolate in their rooms." The outbreak was first identified among students living at West Quad and South Quad. Students are asked to stay in their rooms if they are sick, and to practice good hygiene. Also avoid sharing food and drinks, and do not handle, prepare, … [Read more...]

Norovirus Sickens More than 200 Students at Ursinus College, PA

According to Montgomery County officials, an outbreak at Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pennsylvania was caused by norovirus. More than 200 students, faculty, and staff at the college were sickened in the past week. Phoenixville Hospital confirmed that tests on two students confirmed the presence of the pathogenic virus. Montgomery County Commissioner Valerie Arkoosh, a physician and Interim Medical Director of the Health Department said in a statement, "This is the agent we have suspected since the outbreak began. While the illness has been truly unfortunate, this has been a model of cooperation between the various health agencies and Ursinus. We will continue to be vigilant and work closely with Ursinus to focus on hygiene measures to reduce transmission." Ursinus College medical … [Read more...]

What’s With Norovirus in Overland Park?

There are three norovirus outbreaks in Overland Park, Kansas that are being investigated by the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. At least 628 people have been sickened so far in these outbreaks. Norovirus is very common, especially in the winter months. The virus is very contagious and easily transmitted through contact with food and surfaces, and from person-to-person. When people stay indoors more often in the colder weather, it's very easy to pass the virus around and contract it. The first outbreak is among people who visited the New Theatre Restaurant in mid-January 2016. At least 600 people have been sickened in that outbreak. Most of those sickened were at the facility between January 15 and 19, … [Read more...]

Kansas Asking New Theatre Norovirus Patrons to Fill Out Questionnaire

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is investigating a norovirus outbreak among people who attended the New Theatre Restaurant in Overland Park, Kansas and is asking patrons of that facility to fill out an online questionnaire. They would like all people who have attended the theatre since Friday, January 15, 2016 to respond to help determine the cause of illness. They want to collect information from people who were sickened and those who did not become ill. Participation is voluntary, and any information provided is completely confidential. If you have already filled out the survey when it requested information from people who attended the facility later than that date, please fill it out again. If you have been interviewed by telephone, you do not need to fill out the … [Read more...]

Hawaii Recalls Korean Raw Oysters After Norovirus Outbreak

The Hawaii State Department of Health is recalling frozen, raw oysters imported from Korea because they are associated with a norovirus outbreak. The oysters were sold in bulk to distributors and food establishments in the state. Peter Oshiro said in a statement, "the department has already conducted product trace-backs and embargoed all of the suspect product on November 24, 2015 at various local shellfish distributors and restaurants. Although this product is not sold directly to the public, a recall has been issued as an additional safeguard to further notify anyone who may possess the product that it is unsafe and should be destroyed." A product embargo prohibits businesses from using or selling a product suspected of causing illness. At least 11 people have been sickened with … [Read more...]

Seattle Chipotle Closed for Food Safety Violations

The Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant at 212 Westlake Avenue North in Seattle, Washington was closed on Thursday, December 10, 2015 for repeated food safety violations, according to a report on Seattle & King County Public Health. The restaurant had three red violations in three consecutive inspections, which prompted the closure. Red violations are those that are serious enough they can cause foodborne illness. In December 2014, an inspection found that food was being held at less than 130°F (food must be held at 140°F or higher to prevent bacterial growth). In October 2015, violations including improper cooking times and temperatures of food, and improper use of non-continuous cooking. The inspection in November 2015 also found improper hot holding temperatures of less than … [Read more...]

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