September 30, 2016

Preliminary Cause of Cass County ND Jail Outbreak: Clostridium Perfringens

Several news reports state that the North Dakota Department of health has made a preliminary diagnosis about what sickened 110 inmates in the Cass County Jail last month. Clostridium perfringens was most likely the culprit. Stool samples from several inmates revealed the pathogenic bacteria. This bacteria is found on raw meat and poultry. It grows when foods are prepared in large quantities, as in jails, nursing homes, and schools, and that food is kept warm, but not quite warm enough, for long periods of time, or is improperly cooled. This type of outbreak is quite common in large institutions. The outbreak in December 2015 was the second one at the Cass County Jail in the last four years. About 40% of the 282 inmates at the jail were sick with symptoms that included diarrhea … [Read more...]

Salmonella Thompson Outbreak in North Dakota

The North Dakota Department of Health has announced that there is a Salmonella outbreak in that state. Since July 20, twenty-two cases of Salmonella Thompson have been reported. These infections all have the same genetic pattern. That means that the infections probably came from a common source, but officials do not yet know what that is. They don't know if a common food source, drink, or event made these people sick. The bacteria are tested using a procedure called pulsed field-gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and their DNA is mapped, or fingerprinted. When two or more people have infections caused by bacteria with the same genetic pattern, an outbreak is declared. Laura Cronquist, an epidemiologist with the Division of Disease Control said in a statement, "illness may be more severe … [Read more...]

Fifth ND E. coli Case Confirmed at Red River Valley Fair

A fifth case of E. coli infection that may be linked to the Red River Valley Fair in West Fargo, North Dakota has been confirmed by the North Dakota Department of Health. All of the cases are children, all live in eastern North Dakota, and four of the five patients have been hospitalized. The investigation into the cause of the outbreak is ongoing. Anyone who attended the fair and has been sick with the symptoms of an E. coli infection is asked to fill out a survey on the North Dakota Department of Health website, even if you are feeling better. Those symptoms include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea that may be bloody and/or watery. They usually appear within 10 days after exposure. If someone in your household was sick and other are not, also fill out the form; … [Read more...]

North Dakota E. coli Outbreak at Red River Valley Fair

An E. coli outbreak at the Red River Valley Fair in West Fargo is being investigated by the North Dakota Department of Health. Three children, all under the age of 18, are sick with this bacteria. The fair was held July 7 through July 12, 2015. One of the children has been diagnosed with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a serious complication of a shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) infection. With HUS, red blood cells are damaged by shiga toxins. Those faulty cells then travel to the kidneys and cause damage that can lead to kidney failure. Michelle Feist, an epidemiologist with the Division of Disease Control said in a statement, "we are in the early stages of this investigation and are asking people who become sick with diarrhea or bloody diarrhea for more than 24 hours, … [Read more...]

Ground Beef E. coli Recall Includes North Dakota Supervalu Stores

Two Supervalu stores in North Dakota are among the retailers affected by the 1.8 million pound ground beef recall associated with an E. coli outbreak that has sickened at least 11 people. The stores are located in Beulah and New Town. Consumers who have purchased beef from these stores since the beginning of April should check the packaging to see if it is part of the recall.  The recalled products include all dates between “03 31 14” and “04 18 14” that bear the establishment number “EST. 2574B.” Consumers who have purchased beef that is part of the recall should not eat it as it may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 bacteria which can cause serious illness or death.  Five people in Michigan, four in Ohio, one person in Massachusetts and one person in Missouri have all been … [Read more...]

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