October 20, 2016

Texas Brucellosis Outbreak Linked to Raw Cheese from Mexico

A brucellosis outbreak in Texas has been linked to unpasteurized cheese from Mexico, according to a health advisory issued by the Dallas County Department of Health and Human Services. A record number of 13 people have been diagnosed in 2016 so far. Dallas usually has only 2 to 6 cases of brucellosis every year. There were 11 Brucella infections total in 2014. The cheeses were brought into the U.S. from Mexico by friends or relatives, consumed while traveling in Mexico, or bought from local street vendors. The patient age range is from 6 to 80 years. Most required hospitalization to start treatment. And two incidents of "high-risk occupational exposures of hospital laboratory personnel have occurred during handling of these clinical Brucella isolates." Brucella bacteria typically … [Read more...]

Cyclospora Outbreak Over After Sickening 546 People

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that the Cyclospora outbreak that has sickened 546 people in 31 states this summer is over. The last illness onset date was August 22, 2015. Cyclospora cayetanensis is a single-celled parasite that causes an infection in the intestines. Clusters of illnesses were linked to restaurants or events in Texas, Wisconsin, and Georgia. The restaurants and events have not been named. Some of the illnesses just in those states, but not all, were linked to fresh cilantro imported from Puebla, Mexico. The food or drink that caused non-cluster-associated cases has not been identified. The FDA issued an import alert on that imported cilantro on August 27, 2015.  In fact, the CDC identified annually recurring outbreaks in 2012, … [Read more...]

Cucumber Salmonella Outbreak Numbers Grow to 341 Sick, 2 Dead

The multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Poona linked to imported cucumbers has grown. Now at least 341 people in 30 states are sick. this is an increase of 56 cases in the last 5 days. Two people have, sadly, died of their illnesses; one in Texas and one in California. And 70 people have been hospitalized. Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback investigations have identified imported cucumbers from Mexico, distributed by Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce as the likely source of this outbreak. Ninety-one percent of the 134 people interviewed so far reported eating cucumbers the week before they got sick. So far, Arizona, California, Montana, and Nevada isolated Salmonella from samples of cucumbers collected from locations that were distributed by Andrew & Williamson Fresh … [Read more...]

Cyclospora Sickens 457 in 29 States

At least 457 in 29 states have contracted parasitic infections from eating food contaminated with Cyclospora, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Sixteen people have been hospitalized. Symptoms of a Cyclospora infection, called cyclosporiasis, can last up to two months and include explosive diarrhea, abdominal cramps, bloating, gas, nausea, fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss, vomiting, body aches, low-grade fever, and other flu-like symptoms. These symptoms can also last more than 60 days. About 60 percent of those sickened, 275  people, reported feeling onset of symptoms on or after May 1, 2015. Of those case, the breakdown by state is as follows: Arkansas (2), California (2), Connecticut (3), Florida (11), Georgia (22), Illinois (6), Iowa (1), … [Read more...]

Texas Has 237 Cases of Cyclospora; Possible Link to Cilantro

The Texas Department of State Health Services has received reports of 237 cases of cyclosporiasis from around Texas this year. Outbreaks in the past have been associated with imported fresh produce. Some of these illnesses may be linked to cilantro imported from the Puebla area of Mexico. The Food and Drug Administration has placed an import ban on cilantro from that region, since they suspect it is contaminated with the Cyclospora parasite. Cyclosporiasis is caused by consuming water or food contaminated with the Cyclospora oocyst. Symptoms of this illness include explosive and watery diarrhea, which can last for months, loss of appetite, fatigue, weight loss, abdominal cramps, bloating, nausea, vomiting, and a low fever. If you have been experiencing these symptoms, see your doctor … [Read more...]

Cyclospora Outbreak in Texas Increases Again

The Texas Department of State Health Services is reporting that the Cyclospora outbreak in that state has increased again. Now 205 people in that state are sickened with cyclosporiasis that is associated with cilantro imported from the Puebla region of Mexico. The FDA has issued an import alert on cilantro imported from that region in Mexico. That product will be detained if it reaches the border. Annually recurring outbreaks in 2012, 2013, 2014, and this year have prompted an investigation. FDA investigators found feces and toilet paper in some cilantro fields, and contamination caused by irrigation of fields with water contaminated with sewage. Other issues may include cleaning produce with contaminated water, and lack of adequate cleaning of equipment that is used to process the … [Read more...]

Texas Cyclospora Outbreak Increases to 121

The outbreak of cyclosporiasis in Texas has increased to 121, according to the Texas Department of Health and Human Services. One hundred nine cases have been reported in the last two weeks. This illness is caused by the Cyclospora parasite. Most cases are in Travis county with 55. Eight are sick in Williamson county, six are sick in Dallas county, five in Harris county, and four in Hays county. Cyclosporiasis ia an intestinal illness caused by eating food or drinking water contaminated with the parasite. The main symptom is watery diarrhea that can last for months. Other symptoms include weight loss, loss of appetite, abdominal cramps, bloating, gas, nausea, vomiting, and a low fever. Past outbreaks have been linked to fresh produce, including raspberries, basil, snow peas, … [Read more...]

Texas Issues Cyclospora Health Advisory; 54 Sick

A surge in reports of Cyclospora infections has prompted the Texas Department of State Health Services to issue a health advisory and launch an investigation. There have been 54 cases of the parasitic illness so far this year, including 42 just in the last week. Cyclosporiasis is an illness that affects the intestines. It is caused by drinking water or eating food contaminated with the parasite. Symptoms include watery diarrhea that can last a few months, loss of appetite, fatigue weight loss, abdominal cramps, bloating, increased gas, nausea, vomiting, and a low fever. Profuse diarrhea can last for months and can relapse. Public health officials recommend that people thoroughly wash fresh produce before eating it. Fresh produce has been the carrier of the parasite in the past, but … [Read more...]

Blue Bell Lawsuit Refers to Via Christi Hospital Outbreak

The nation's first Blue Bell ice cream Listeria lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Texas includes details of similarity between a retirement home director in Houston who nearly died of Listeria meningitis and a cluster of five people in Wichita who were striken by listeriosis after eating Blue Bell ice cream while at Via Christi Hospital. All six individuals ate single-serve ice cream products purchased from Blue Bell Creameries Inc. through institutional, or food service, channels. According to a copy of the lawsuit filed by PritzkerOlsen Attorneys on behalf of David Philip Shockley, he repeatedly ate single-serve Blue Bell ice cream products while on the job at a 462-apartment continuing care retirement community in Houston. The 31-year-old man with a masters degree in public … [Read more...]

Focus of Blue Bell Listeria Outbreak Shifts to Texas

The most recent government findings in the Listeria food poisoning outbreak associated with Blue Bell ice cream have placed Texas in an even greater spotlight than before. Already recognized as the home state of the 108-year-old Blue Bell Creameries Co., Texas has now been confirmed by federal health investigators as the location of a second cluster of illnesses in the outbreak. Based on reports from the FDA, CDC and the Texas Department of State Health Services, three Texas hospital patients became ill with listeriosis over a period of time from 2011-2014. Officials who have studied the molecular fingerprints of Listeria found in Blue Bell ice cream say it matches the strains in the Texas hospital patients. None of the agencies would provide details about the Texas case patients, but … [Read more...]

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