September 16, 2019

Salmonella Outbreak at Cook County Jail Sickens Dozens; Lawsuits Possible

More than 50 inmates at the Cook County Jail in Chicago, Illinois were sickened with Salmonella infections, according to the Cook County Sheriff's Office. News reports state that five cases of Salmonella food poisoning have been confirmed. And at least two inmates were hospitalized because they were so sick. Local public health officials are conducting an investigation along with the Cook County Department of Facilities Management and the sheriff's office. The outbreak took place in the jail's Division XI, which is located at 3015 South California Boulevard in Chicago. Data and studies show that prisons, just like hospitals and nursing homes, are at high risk for foodborne illness. Crowded conditions in prisons can contribute to outbreaks, since person-to-person spread of … [Read more...]

E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak at Anvil Mountain Correctional Center in Nome, Alaska May Be Linked to Nationwide Romaine Lettuce Outbreak

An E. coli O157:H7 outbreak at the Anvil Mountain Correctional Center in Nome, Alaska may be connected to the nationwide outbreak linked to chopped romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, Arizona. The Department of Health & Social Services, Department of Environmental Conservation, and Department of Corrections issued a joint press release about this outbreak. Eight confirmed cases have been identified. The romaine lettuce consumed by the Nome patients was grown in Yuma, Arizona, according to investigators. State officials are telling Alaskans to avoid any romaine lettuce products that could be contaminated. Restaurants, retailers, and consumers should ask their suppliers about the source of the lettuce. This statement, for the first time, says that consumers should avoid whole head and … [Read more...]

Outbreak at Ramsey County, MN Jail

An outbreak at the Ramsey County jail last week sickened more than 100 inmates, according to Doug Schulz, Information Officer for the Minnesota Department of Health. There were probably no hospitalizations in this outbreak. According to Schulz, food testing is not complete, but he said that negative results won't be meaningful, since food testing is difficult. Food trays were tested after the outbreak was reported to public health officials. One stool sample was collected, but since it was collected long after recovery from the illness, the results will be limited. This sample is not being tested for the same pathogens the food trays were tested for. MDH is not able to interview inmates, and officials probably won't have any further details or answers than what is currently … [Read more...]

Gastrointestinal Outbreak at Jail in Wyoming in 2015

The CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report has published a report on a gastrointestinal illness outbreak associated with rancid tortilla chips that occurred at a correctional facility in Wyoming in October 2015. This outbreak was not reported to the public when it happened last year. A county health department notified the Wyoming Department of Health of an outbreak on October 12, 2015. Most of those sickened got sick within one to three hours after eating lunch served at the facility cafeteria at noon on October 11. Residents and staff members reported that the tortillas chips served at the lunch "tasted and smelled like chemicals." A case control study was conducted by the county health department and the Wyoming Department of Health. Multivariate logistic regression … [Read more...]

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...]

Illness Outbreak at Cass County Jail, ND

According to news reports, an outbreak of illness at the Cass County Jail in North Dakota has sickened more than 100 inmates. People started reporting illness symptoms such as upset stomachs and diarrhea last night. Now, 110 of the 282 inmates have the same symptoms. In addition, two visitors to the jail have reported feeling sick. All of the inmates have been treated on site. No one has been hospitalized and no patient is getting worse. No inmates have been quarantined as a result of this outbreak. This is most likely another norovirus outbreak similar to the one that sickened more than 14o people at Boston College last week. Norovirus symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The illnesses could also be caused by Clostridium perfringens, a bacteria that causes similar … [Read more...]

San Quentin Legionnaires’ Outbreak Traced to Cooling Towers

A Legionnaires' Disease outbreak at the San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin, California was caused by contaminated cooling towers. The report was filed by J. Clark Kelso, the federally appointed receiver who is responsible for the California prison's medical system. Thirteen inmates were diagnosed with Legionnaires' Disease, and more than 80 others were diagnosed with pneumonia. Some of the staff were also sickened, and there are twelve cases of staff members' illness that are currently being investigated. The report states that "Later water tests of environmental samples revealed that the water in two of the cooling towers at the top of the Central Health Services Building had high concentrations of Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1, which is the most common cause of … [Read more...]

Salmonella Outbreak at Winslow AZ State Prison

An "extreme" Salmonella outbreak has been reported at the Arizona State Prison Complex in Winslow. The outbreak occurred in the Kaibab and Coronado Units. Officials say that the outbreak has been contained as of September 7, 2015. All of the units are displaying "open" status as of September 23, 2015. Two hundred forty of the 1,426 inmates experienced the symptoms of Salmonella food poisoning. The last time an illness was reported was on September 7. The Arizona Department of corrections worked with public health officials to contain the outbreak. On-site medical care was provided to sick inmates. Lab samples were sent offsite for analysis. The Salmonella was found in a tossed salad that was served to both units on August 31, 2015, according to Andrew Wilder, director of … [Read more...]

Legionnaires’ Outbreak at San Quentin State Prison

A Legionnaires' Disease outbreak at the San Quentin State Prison has forced that facility to shut off the water. There are six confirmed cases, and at least 51 other possible cases. Those prisoners who have been diagnosed with the illness have been transferred to hospitals for treatment. The possible cases are under observation at the prison's medical unit. Portable toilets are being brought in for the prisoners' use. The kitchen has stopped producing meals; inmates are eating boxed meals. The prisoners who may be sick live in all areas of the prison. The Marin County Health Department is investigating the outbreak. No visitors have been allowed in the facility since the outbreak began. No prisoners can be transferred in or out of the facility as well. Inmates are being told they … [Read more...]

Salmonella Outbreak at TN Prison Linked to Tyson Chicken

A Salmonella Heidelberg outbreak in 2013 at a Tennessee correctional facility that was linked to mechanically separated Tyson chicken sickened nine people. Twenty-two percent of those sickened were hospitalized; no deaths were reported. All of the ill persons were incarcerated at a single correctional facility in the state. Traceback and other investigations found that mechanically separated chicken produced by Tyson Foods was the source of the 2013 outbreak. Mechanically separated chicken is a paste-like meat product that is made by forcing meat through a sieve to separate bone from the edible part. The product then will have bacteria spread throughout it, similar to ground meats. Since prisoners are literally a "captive audience", it may be considered cruel and unusual punishment … [Read more...]

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