304 sick from Cyclospora in US, some linked to fresh cilantro from Puebla, Mexico

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and federal, state, and local public health partners are continuing surveillance to identify and interview additional ill persons and to identify sources of infection.

  • cilantro.slugs.powell.10Cyclospora cayetanensis is a single-celled parasite that causes an intestinal infection called cyclosporiasis.
  • As of August 26, 2014 (5pm EDT), CDC had been notified of 304 ill persons with confirmed Cyclospora infection in 2014; of these, 207 ill persons from the following states had no history of international travel within two weeks before onset of illness: Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York (and New York City), Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Washington.

◦       Most (133; 64%) of the cases were reported from Texas.

◦       Most (133; 64%) of the cases were reported in July 2014.

◦       Most (176; 85%) of the illness onset dates occurred in June and July.

◦       Among 183 persons with available information, 7 (4%) have reported being hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

◦       Among 204 persons with available information, ill persons range in age from 3 to 88 years, with a median age of 49 years.

◦       Among 204 persons with available information, 115 (56%) of ill persons are female.

  • To date, 133 ill persons with Cyclospora infection have been reported among Texas residents who did not travel outside of the country within the two weeks before becoming ill. 

◦       Epidemiologic and traceback investigations conducted in Texas by state and local public health and regulatory officials and the FDA indicated that some illnesses among Texas residents were linked to fresh cilantro from Puebla, Mexico.

◦       Reported cases of cyclosporiasis in Texas have returned to baseline levels in August; therefore, it is likely that the outbreak has ended.

  • Investigations are ongoing in other states.

◦       To date, there is no evidence to suggest that any illnesses outside of Texas are linked to cilantro from Puebla, Mexico.

  • Consumers should continue to enjoy the health benefits of eating fresh fruits and vegetables as part of a well-balanced diet.
  • Consumers and retailers should always follow safe produce handling recommendations.

Cyclospora redux: Cilantro linked to 21 illnesses in Texas

We eat a lot of cilantro in my house; whether in fresh salsa, guacamole or as an ingredient in tacos it’s a favorite.

I’m rethinking my love of the herb as it’s entering the raw sprouts realm.

After notable recalls in 2009, 2011 and a 2013 Cyclospora outbreak where the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded that fresh cilantro grown in Puebla, Mexico was the source, cilantro is at it again.cilantro.slugs_.powell.10-300x225

According to NBCDFW a current outbreak of Cyclospora has been linked yet again to the fresh herb.

The Texas Department of State Health Services said Thursday the its investigation has linked the cases in four restaurants clusters to fresh cilantro from Puebla, Mexico.

Texas DSHS says a total of 21 people got sick and all of them reported eating food containing cilantro within two weeks of becoming ill.

The FDA and DSHS traced the cilantro from all four restaurants to Puebla, Mexico. While investigators could not find cilantro contaminated with cyclospora they say there’s a strong enough “epidemiological link” between the illnesses and the cilantro to draw the conclusion.

In October 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also linked a cyclospora outbreak to cilantro from Puebla, Mexico.

The Texas DSHS reported a total of 166 confirmed cyclospora cases in the state, but only 126 cases were considered part of the outbreak.

Dallas County reported the majority of this year’s cases with 38, 19 cases were confirmed in Tarrant County and 12 in Collin County.

 

45 sick from Campylobacter linked to raw milk in Utah

Utah public health officials are investigating a few cases of sickness associated with raw or unpasteurized milk.

A few? Is there that many people in Utah?

colbert.raw.milkSo far, 45 cases of Campylobacter infection have been confirmed in people who had raw milk in the week they got sick.

Officials said the illness has been reported in Cache, Davis, Morgan, Salt Lake, Utah and Weber counties.

Two cases have also been confirmed in California and Idaho.

The first case of the infection was reported May 9.

The Utah Dept. of Health said all 45 cases are linked to raw milk or cream purchased at Ropelato Dairy in Weber County.

The Utah Dept. of Agriculture suspended the dairy’s license to sell raw milk on Aug. 4 after several tests were positive for Campylobacter.

Larry Lewis with the UDAF said the dairy has been very cooperative in working with the inspectors and it will be allowed to sell raw milk again as soon as it consistently passes safety tests.

Careful with that fondue: determinants of the campylobacteriosis winter peak in Switzerland

Campylobacteriosis is the most frequently reported food borne infection in Switzerland. We investigated determinants of infections and illness experience in wintertime. A case–control study was conducted in Switzerland between December 2012 and February 2013. Cases were recruited among laboratory-confirmed campylobacteriosis patients. Population-based controls were matched according to age group, sex and canton of residence. We determined risk factors associated with campylobacteriosis, and help seeking behaviour and illness perception.

fondueThe multivariable analysis identified two factors associated with an increased risk for campylobacteriosis: consumption of meat fondue (matched odds ratio [mOR] 4.0, 95 % confidence interval [CI] 2.3–7.1) and travelling abroad (mOR 2.7, 95 % CI 1.1–6.4). Univariable analysis among meat fondue consumers revealed chicken as the type of meat with the highest risk of disease (mOR 3.8, 95 % CI 1.1–13.5). Most frequently reported signs and symptoms among patients were diarrhoea (98 %), abdominal pain (81 %), fever (66 %), nausea (44 %) and vomiting (34 %). The median perceived disease severity was 8 on a 1-to-10 rating scale. Patients reported a median duration of illness of 7 days and 14 % were hospitalised. Meat fondues, mostly “Fondue chinoise”, traditionally consumed during the festive season in Switzerland, are the major driver of the epidemic campylobacteriosis peak in wintertime. At these meals, individual handling and consumption of chicken meat may play an important role in disease transmission. Laboratory-confirmed patients are severely ill and hospitalisation rate is considerable. Public health measures such as decontamination of chicken meat and improved food handling behaviour at the individual level are urgently needed.

European Journal of Epidemiology

Philipp Justus Bless, Claudia Schmutz, Kathrin Suter, Marianne Jost, Jan Hattendorf, Mirjam Mäusezahl-Feuz and Daniel Mäusezahl

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10654-014-9917-0/fulltext.html#Fig3

Florida pageant mother secretly fed daughter tapeworms to help lose weight

Secretly feeding worm eggs to a child sounds like a scene out of a horror movie, but it was a reality for one teenage beauty queen, whose story was recounted on a recent episode of Discovery Health’s Untold Stories of the ER.

In an effort to make her daughter lose weight for a beauty competition, a Florida mother bought and fed tapeworm eggs to her teenage pageant star without her knowledge. Soon after, the girl was admitted to the hospital with painful stomach cramps.

The pain passed after the girl used the bathroom, and Maricar Cabral-Osori, the girl’s ER nurse, reported seeing a toilet bowl full of long tapeworms struggling to escape.

tapeworm.floridaShe said, “It was so gross and she had pooped all these tapeworms. There were a couple that were very long and wiggling around trying to get out of the toilet bowl.”

Cabral-Osori said the woman turned white when she saw what her daughter had passed. The guilty mother told her daughter that she had just wanted her to “lose a little weight” before the pageant.

Dr. Patricia Quinlisk of the Iowa Department of Public Health, says the use of tapeworms for weight loss is extremely dangerous.

44 kids sickened: Ottawa Chinese food takeout fined in summer camp food poisoning

A west Ottawa restaurant has been fined by Ottawa Public Health after rice it served made dozens of people sick and sent six children to hospital from a summer camp.

Lotus Chinese Food TakeoutParamedics were called to St. Cecilia School the afternoon of July 31 after several children and adults from the Tian Tian Chinese Summer Camp reported feeling ill.

Six children suffering from vomiting, dizziness and diarrhea were taken to hospital with suspected food poisoning. They were all released later that day.

Ottawa Public Health said in a statement Friday they inspected three restaurants that provided food for the camp that week. Two of those restaurants passed but the third, Lotus Chinese Food Takeout on Fallowfield Road, did not.

After interviewing more than 90 people from the camp, Ottawa Public Health said a total of 44 people felt sick after eating a fried rice dish from Lotus.

Analysis showed the presence of Bacillus cereus, a bacterium that releases toxins causing symptoms reported by those who got sick, in the rice and a noodle dishes from Lotus.

3 dead, 16 sick from Vibrio in Florida

A newly reported Vibrio vulnificus case in Charlotte County, Florida, the county’s third case, brings the states total to 16, according to the latest numbers released from the Florida Department of Health today.

SUN0705N-Oyster7The total number of fatalities reported in the state remains unchanged at three. 

People can get infected with Vibrio vulnificus when they eat raw shellfish, particularly oysters. The bacterium is frequently isolated from oysters and other shellfish in warm coastal waters during the summer months. Since it is naturally found in warm marine waters, people with open wounds can be exposed to Vibrio vulnificus through direct contact with seawater. There is no evidence of person-to-person transmission of Vibrio vulnificus.

Vibrio vulnificus is a rare cause of disease, but it is also underreported. Between 1988 and 2006, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) received reports of more than 900 Vibrio vulnificus infections from the Gulf Coast states, where most cases occur. In 2013, Florida reported a total of 41 V. vulnificus cases, including 12 deaths.

Person with diarrhea most likely source of Crypto at Georgia splash pad

An infected person with diarrhea who used the East Athens Community Park splash pad earlier this month is the likely source for the recent spread of the parasite Cryptosporidium confirmed to have infected at least 16 children, the Athens-Clarke County Leisure Services Department and the Clarke County Health Department determined this week.

diaper.poolAccording to a statement, the CCHD was alerted Aug. 11 to several cases of children falling ill after attending a private party at the splash pad on Aug. 3. As part of its investigation, the health department contacted Leisure Services Aug. 12 for information and took water samples soon after. Water samples were submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the next day, and while final CDC test results are not expected until later this week, the health department confirmed samples taken from infected children indicate Cryptosporidium, commonly known as Crypto.

One of the leading causes of recreational water illness, Crypto is spread when people swallow water recently contaminated by an infected person’s fecal matter.

Once the health department determined Crypto as a probable cause, staff at Leisure Services initiated a precautionary disinfectant treatment at the splash pad prior to reopening it to the public. The treatment used more than twice the amount of chlorine shown by CDC studies to eradicate Crypto and was used for a longer period of time than required by the health department, according to ACC Leisure Services Park Services Division Maintenance Supervisor Keith Kirkland.

‘Apocalyptic’ vomiting bug hits French tourists

Hundreds of French tourists fell violently sick at a posh Greek hotel creating what one visitor called an “apocalyptic” scene that had guests vomiting in the swimming pool and hallways.

Lindos Imperial Resort and SpaA mysterious vomiting bug is sweeping through a five-star resort on the island of Rhodes and has sickened hundreds of French tourists who are now demanding answers.

One visitor described the nausea-inducing scene at the Lindos Imperial Resort and Spa to French daily La Depeche this week.

“Like hundreds of other holidaymakers, my family and I suddenly came down with vomiting and acute diarrhoea. My wife even got sick in a restaurant,” Jean-Pierre Lacaux, who spent €20,000 on the two-week trip for his family, told the paper.

“I saw people vomit in the pools and hallways…everywhere. It was Dantean, apocalyptic.”

In a meeting the angry and ill guests had with management they were told little about what was causing the outbreak. The manager reportedly tried to minimize the number of sick, saying there were at most 100 ill people.