October 23, 2021

Study Finds Cow Manure Contaminates WI Wells and Causes Cryptosporidium

A new federal study released today has found that it's possible that cow manure contaminates wells in a county in Wisconsin and causes Cryptosporidium illnesses. The researchers looked at private wells in Kewaunee County, which is in northeastern Wisconsin on Lake Michigan. The county has a population of about 20,000 people, but there are 100,000 head of cattle in the area. About 12,000 residents get their water from private wells. The study used data from a countrywide pathogen occurrence study that lasted for a year. The scientist put the numbers into a quantitative microbial risk assessment to predict the cases of acute gastrointestinal illness linked to those wells. The results found that private well contamination could cause more than 300 acute gastrointestinal illnesses per … [Read more...]

After Severe Weather, What Does a Boil Water Notice Mean?

Many people in different parts of the country have been, and will be, under a "boil water" notice after severe weather strikes. So what does a boil water notice mean? These advisories are often issued after a flood or when there is an issue with local water services, such as broken water mains or a sewage spill. Everyone should pay attention to these advisories and notices and follow them rigorously to protect health. Boil water notices are issued to protect the public from waterborne infectious agents that can range from parasites to E. coli and other pathogens to viruses. When a notice is issued, everyone should stop using water from the tap until a government agency says that the water is again safe to drink and use in cooking and cleaning. Heat treatments and filtration can … [Read more...]

Lead in Water Threatens Infant Health and Development

Lead in water threatens infant health and development. This fact has been an issue in the United States for many decades. No amount of lead intake is safe. And children are especially susceptible to damage from this heavy metal, which can reduce IQ, damage the brain and nervous system, slow growth and development, and cause learning, behavioral, hearing, and speech problems. A new report from Healthy Babies Bright Future, detailed in Consumer Reports, shows that risks of lead in tap water is especially dangerous to bottle fed babies. Eight hundred families had their water tested for lead for the study. Ninety-seven of those households were located in New Orleans. Because the results for New Orleans were worse than the national tests, they were analyzed separately so as to not … [Read more...]

Food and Water Safety Advice For Those in Hurricane Dorian’s Path

The FDA is offering food and water safety advice for those in Hurricane Dorian's path. The hurricane is making its way up the eastern coast of the United States this week. Hurricane warnings have been posted for the coasts of both North and South Carolina. When the power goes out, consumers need to take special precautions to make sure that the food stored in their homes remains safe. First, keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. The fridge will keep food cold for about four hours, and a full freezer will keep the temperature low for about 48 hours if the door stays closed. Dry and block ice can be used to keep food safe for longer periods of time. Fifty pounds of dry ice will keep an 18 cubic foot, fully stocked freezer cold for two days. Flooding … [Read more...]

E. coli Outbreak at Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota Sickens 30

A rather strange E. coli outbreak has sickened 30 people who visited Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota over the Fourth of July weekend. According to news reports, people have contacted the Hennepin County Public Health after they were on the lake, especially in the Big Island area. Those 30 cases have been confirmed by the department. Public Health Epidemiology Manager Dave Johnson told MPR, "I would say that the symptoms are consistent with a water or food exposure and so we've been interviewing the ill persons to evaluate all potential exposures. So we're asking them about, were they in the water, were they swimming, did they potentially accidentally ingest some water. Public health officials do not know exactly how many cases of illness are connected to exposure to Lake Minnetonka. … [Read more...]

Minnesota DOH Evaluating Microbes in Public Water Supply Wells

There is evidence of viruses, bacteria, and protozoan parasites in water from some of Minnesota's public water supply wells, according to a news release issued by the Minnesota Department of Health. Officials don't see any pattern of illness associated with this problem, but there is a need for more study. Health officials want to discover how and when the pathogens enter the wells and if there is a health risk for people who drink that water. This project was funded through the state's Clean Water Fund. Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm says "Safe drinking water is essential for Minnesota’s health and prosperity, and we are fortunate to have a strong team of local and state partners working to catch potential threats early. More work is needed to determine how best to … [Read more...]

Campylobacter Outbreak in 2017 Associated with Well Water Supply in Nebraska

The February 22, 2019 issue of the CDC's Morbidity and Morftality Weekly Report had a study about a Campylobacter outbreak in 2017 that was associated with the municipal water supply in Nebraska. At least 39 people were sickened after they drank untreated city water. The city was not named, just called "City A." Apparently, a center pivot irrigation system, that was supposed to pump livestock waste into farmland malfunctioned. Runoff collected in a road ditch near two wells that fed the water supply. There were 33 probable and 6 confirmed cases in this outbreak. Untreated unboiled city A tap water was the only exposure that was significantly associated with illness. The city is served by four untreated wells and an interconnected distribution system. After the wells were … [Read more...]

Kingston Pharma Recalls All Lots of DG Baby Gripe Water

Kingston Pharma, LLC is recalling all lots of "DG Baby Gripe Water" herbal supplement with organic ginger and fennel extracts because of an undissolved ingredient, citrus flavonoid. While this does not make the product hazardous in and of itself, but some people who are sensitive could have difficulty swallowing the water. The company has received one report of a one-week old infant having difficulty when swallowing the product. In addition, three complaints have been registered with the company because of the undissolved citrus flavonoid. The product claims to release discomfort from gas, colic, hiccups, and teething. This DG Baby Gripe Water herbal supplement with organic ginger and fennel extracts is administered orally to infants and adults. The recalled product is packaged in 4 … [Read more...]

Gastrointestinal Outbreak at Climb Works in Gatlinburg, Tennessee May Have Sickened Hundreds

A gastrointestinal outbreak at Climb Works in Gatlinburg, Tennessee may have sickened many people, East Tennessee Region Health Department Assistant Director Gail Harmon told Food Poisoning Bulletin. Most of those sickened visited the zipline canopy tour facility between mid-June and early July. Public health officials sent out 2,901 online surveys to the company's online ticket sales list, Harmon said. As of July 11, 2018, they had received 808 responses, with 548 stating they had become ill with the symptoms of gastrointestinal illness after visiting the venue. The survey found that the common denominator among all of those ill persons was the drinking water provided by Climb Works. Testing of that water, which came from a well, was conducted at the Knoxville State Laboratory. … [Read more...]

CDC Offers Advice for Those in the Path of Hurricane Irma

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is offering advice for anyone who is in the path of Hurricane Irma. This is a very dangerous storm. Everyone should have a safety plan in case any natural or manmade disaster strikes anywhere. Food safety can be compromised in the case of natural disasters. Flood waters can contain pathogenic bacteria, chemicals, and even heavy metals. And the loss of power can render perishable foods unsafe. Before the hurricane, stock up on emergency supplies. Write down emergency phone numbers. And make sure that every member of your family understands the plan. If you are going to stay, make sure you have enough clean water. Every family member should have five gallons of clean water every day. You can fill clean containers with drinking … [Read more...]

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