Everything’s big in Australia: 6 dead from ‘thunderstorm asthma’ in Melbourne

Rohan Smith of news.au.com reports doors swung wide open at homes around Melbourne on Monday afternoon in hopes a looming thunderstorm would bring with it a cool change.

thunderstorm-asthmaIt did, but it carried with it something else. The combination of warm weather, a high pollen count and stormy conditions produced what experts call “thunderstorm asthma,” an extremely rare and dangerous phenomenon that saw Victoria run out of ambulances for an entire hour.

Fairfax reported on Tuesday that two people are believed to have died while waiting for ambulances on Monday.

Those who suffered were not prepared. Most said they hadn’t experienced asthma since childhood. They all had one thing in common: Hay fever.

“I’ve never had asthma but do get hay fever, mainly itchy eyes and sneezes, but there were weirdly no other hay fever symptoms (on Monday),” Kate Craig, from Melbourne’s inner west, told news.com.au.

“It hit me all of a sudden about 7.30 last night, I felt like I couldn’t take a full breath and had an awful, chesty, hacking cough. I thought I must have just inhaled some spices while cooking — that’s what it felt like.”

Gary Nunn said he was in transit when he began to have trouble breathing.

“I’d had bad hay fever all day in Melbourne. In the early evening I got to Melbourne Airport and noticed a new symptom: I was struggling to breathe. This had never happened before,” he said.

1 dead, 4 sick in 2014: Miami cheese producer jailed for 15 months

On August 4, 2014, Oasis Brands, Inc. voluntarily recalled quesito casero (fresh curd) due to possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination.

oasis-listeria-oct_-14On October 6, 2014, Oasis Brands, Inc. recalled cuajada en hoja (fresh curd) after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration isolated Listeria monocytogenes from environmental samples collected from the production facility.

Whole-genome sequences of the Listeria monocytogenes strains isolated from recalled quesito casero cheese produced by Oasis Brands, Inc. were found to be highly related to sequences of Listeria strains isolated from one person who became ill in September 2013 and four persons who became ill during June through October 2014.

These five ill persons were reported from four states: Georgia (1), New York (1), Tennessee (2), and Texas (1).

Four of the five ill persons were hospitalized. One death was reported in Tennessee. Three illnesses were related to a pregnancy – one of these was diagnosed in a newborn.

All ill persons were reported to be of Hispanic ethnicity and reported consuming Hispanic-style soft cheese. Two persons who were able to answer questions about specific varieties of Hispanic-style soft cheeses reported consuming quesito casero, though neither could remember the brand.

According to Andrea Torres of ABC Channel 10, after making promises to the feds, Christian Rivas knew he was distributing cheese with listeria and did so anyway.

Rivas was in federal prison Nov. 11, 2016 and faced 15 moths in prison after federal prosecutors armed with the results of CDC tests and FDA inspections were ready to show consumers were “fraudulently led to believe” the cheese was safe to eat when it wasn’t. 

Before the criminal case, authorities recalled 15 of their “Lacteos Santa Martha ” products targeting Central American migrants in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina. The list included the “Queso Seco Olanchano,” the “Queso Seco Hondureno,” the  “Queso Cuzcatlan,” and the “Crema Guatemalteca.”

Rivas plead guilty to charges that he acted with an “intent to defraud and mislead, delivered cheese processed and packed at the Oasis facility into interstate commerce that was adulterated,” according to the U.S. Department of Justice. 

U.S. District Judge Robert N. Scola sentenced Rivas to 15 months in prison.  

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Justin Green, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations (FDA-OCI), Miami Field Office, announced the sentencing

“We will continue to pursue and bring to justice those who put the public’s health at risk by allowing contaminated foods to enter the U.S. marketplace,” Green said. 

Take a dump on Trump: Poo Haiku for World Toilet Day

 

 

Take a dump on Trump

I won’t change my toilet’s name

Your poo orange too.

trumptoiletSaturday is World Toilet Day, a serious effort by the United Nations focusing on the fact that one-third of the world’s population — or 2.4 billion people —  have no toilet at home. A third of those people are children. They are vulnerable to disease, malnutrition and other major problems because there is no clean way of going to the bathroom where they live.

Marylou Tousignant of The Washington Post writes the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and other organizations want everyone in the world to have proper toilets and safe drinking water by 2030.

People living in present-day Scotland and Pakistan built the first indoor toilets about 4,500 years ago. Pipes carried the waste outdoors. Knossos palace, built 3,700 years ago on the island of Crete in the Mediterranean, had some of the first flush toilets. They used rainwater and water from nearby springs. A wooden seat kept users dry.

Medieval castles had toilets built high on an outside wall. There was a stone seat at the top, and gravity took care of the rest. Often the waste dropped into the castle moat. People living in towns, meanwhile, collected their waste in what were called chamber pots, and they emptied them by heaving the contents out a window. Public lavatories, which were not common at the time, were often just several toilet holes in a row built over a river.

In 1596, England’s Sir John Harington designed a flush toilet with a handle and a raised water tank. He said using it would leave rooms smelling sweet. He gave one to his godmother, Queen Elizabeth I, who didn’t like it. Instead, she used a pot in a box covered in velvet and trimmed with lace. The idea of an indoor flush toilet didn’t catch on until 200 years later.

The word “toilet” comes from the French “toile,” meaning “cloth.” It referred to the covering on a lady’s dressing table and, over time, to the dressing room itself and the primping that went on there. (Wealthy people in the 17th and 18th centuries often had rooms at home just for getting dressed.) In the 19th century, “toilet” got its modern meanings: the place where bathing and other private acts occur and the bowl into which human waste is deposited.

Over time, chamber pots and toilet bowls got fancier and fancier. One such pot, sold during the American Revolution, had an image of Britain’s King George III at the bottom of the bowl.

Thomas Jefferson, who used flush toilets while he was the U.S. ambassador to France in the 1780s, had three small rooms for toilets built at Monticello, his home in Virginia. But there is no proof that they were true flush toilets. And because most American homes did not have running water until a century later, the widespread use of flush toilets came later as well.

Chinese businessman Zhong Jiye will not give up the brand name on his Trump Toilet products, NBC News reports.

“We registered our company in 2002 and obtained approval from the trademark office in Beijing,” said Zhong, referring to Shenzhen Trump Industrial Company Limited, which mostly manufactures high-tech toilet seats. 

hanksy-dumptrump“If (U.S. President-elect Donald) Trump thinks our trademark violates his rights and interests, he can use legal methods because our company observes China’s laws,” CEO Zhong told NBC News, adding that he is prepared to defend his company’s legal rights to the Trump brand name.

In Chinese, the company name means “innovate universally.” 

Vicky Hallett of NPR reports that poetry may be one way of getting people to discuss diarrhea.

That’s the idea behind Poo Haiku, a competition created by Defeat DD, a campaign dedicated to the eradication of diarrheal disease.

Although everybody’s had the runs, it’s not something most folks talk about, says Hope Randall, digital communications officer for PATH’s Center for Vaccine Innovation and Access, which created DefeatDD to bring together resources on vaccines, nutrition, oral rehydration therapy, sanitation and more.

Kat Kelley of the Global Health Technologies Coalition, which references a recent study published in The Lancet:

Just six pathogens

But eighty percent of kids’

Diarrheal deaths.

Randall herself penned an entry:

A vicious cycle,

Gut damage, malnutrition

We can halt the churn.

And from Doug Powell:

Take a dump on Trump

I won’t change my toilet’s name

Is your poo orange too.

(Depends whether the word orange is one syllable or two.)

1 dead from botulism linked to olives in Rome

Thanks to my Italian food safety friend for forwarding this and, as usual, something may be lost in translation.

olives-2Il Messaggero reports the ordeal for the victim began one evening in late August when Mrs. Anna C. decided to put on the table one of the three packages of olives purchased a month earlier in a supermarket. The husband shortly feels the onset of illness, and Mrs C. has severe pain in the belly.

Within a day and a half the couple rush to the closest hospital. The prognosis in the emergency room is clear: “Food poisoning from botulism.” The first investigations focus on the olives. The woman appears in serious condition. The doctors noted in the medical record that this is a case of “sepsis staphylococcal pneumonia with pleural effusion.” She is transfered to an immediate resuscitation room. The husband is held for five days for foodborne botulism, recovers and is discharged.

Anna remains in a coma for almost a month, then her state of health improves. On October 8, after 40 days of hospitalization, the patient is invited to go home in a system of protected discharge. The doctors write down that she had “had a steady improvement that had been weaned from the ventilator ” and then continued clinical monitoring for persistent pericardial effusion share.”

Ten days later, on October 18, the family members of the woman call an ambulance to rush back to the hospital. She died on October 21.

The hospital has an initial autopsy. Yesterday, an order was added for a new autopsy and further toxicological investigations, prepared by the prosecutor. The cremation scheduled for November 9 is suspended. A few hours after receipt of the legal complaint of the family, the lawyer Armando Fergola, the deputy prosecutor Antonio Clemente, ordered the appointment of a medical examiner to determine the cause of death. And at the same entry in the register of suspects for the health personnel who assisted and discharged the patient. A duty, in the first steps of the investigation, also to ensure the people involved in the affair to appoint professional advisers.

“The case is alarming,” said the lawyer Fergola, “We found ourselves in a botulism infection and then to a possible case of medical malpractice. A family now awaits answers. ” The victim left her husband and two children.

Three children in India die after consuming meat cooked by mother on Diwali

It was Diwali and the Phulmali family simply wanted to put something special on the dinner table for their kids. But they had no idea that they had just served death to three of their children.

2phulmali-1As the kids — three boys and two girls — enjoyed a special dinner of chicken curry on Monday night, they discussed their plans to wear matching clothes the next day to celebrate Bhai Dooj. Instead, that very meal separated them forever.

The youngest three — Anil (8), Sairaj (6) and Dhanraj (4) – died of food poisoning yesterday, while the girls, Gauri (12) and Pooja (10), are still ill.

Six die in Kenya after consuming camel meat

Six people have died in Tiaty Village, Baringo County after consuming meat from the carcass of a camel.

camel-meat-for-sale-in-a-market-in-the-gold-mining-are-of-northern-dj02h2The six died Wednesday afternoon at Akwachatis Clinic in the county after doctors tried for a week to treat them.

According to doctors of at the clinic, the six were among over 100 people alleged to have consumed the meat last week.

“They all came here complaining of stomach pains and diarrhea. It is then that we found out that they had consumed meat from the carcass of a camel that died as a result of disease without knowing that that the sickness was deadly,” said Paul Chebet, a nurse at the clinic.

Bridesmaid chokes to death on her own vomit after excessive drinking session at Chinese wedding

I thought it was only drummers that did that – Keith Moon, John Bonham.

bridesmaid_chokes_to_death_on_her_own_vomit_after_excessive_drinking_session_at_chinese_wedding_1_2And Bon Scott.

A night of merriment ended in tragedy when a bridesmaid choked to death on her own vomit from drinking too much.

In a series of video clips, the 28-year-old woman is seen knocking back a glass of liquor with her male friends at a wedding banquet in Wenchang city, Hainan province.

She is then seen passed out and supported by her drinking companions.

After that, she is filmed being rolled away on a hotel baggage trolley.

The final video clip shows her in the hospital with doctors fighting to save her life by pumping on her chest but to no avail.

According to Shanghaiist, a lawyer said that revelers who encouraged her to drink bear some responsibility for her death.

Excessive drinking is common in China where the ability to out-drink peers and colleagues is seen as a marketable skill.

 

‘Is it hygiene or something going wrong’ One dead after suspected gastro outbreak on Pacific Jewel cruise ship

Georgina Mitchell of The Sydney Morning Herald reports one woman has died and several people are believed to be unwell after a suspected outbreak of gastroenteritis on a cruise ship off the coast of Queensland.

pacific-jewelThe P&O Pacific Jewel cruise ship left from Sydney on September 6 for a 10-night “Barrier Reef Discovery” cruise.

Margaret Carlson boarded with her daughter and teenage grandson. It was the 79-year-old’s seventh cruise in 10 years after her husband passed away, and she was looking forward to the journey after being upgraded to a luxury cabin.

She soon began showing signs of gastro and was told by medical staff that she had probably brought the bug onto the ship with her, her family says. Her daughter and grandson also fell ill after boarding the ship. P&O denied there had been a gastro outbreak on the ship.

On Saturday afternoon, when the ship was docked at Yorkeys Knob in Cairns, Mrs Carlson’s family discovered she had died in her room.

Police were called to inspect the scene and determined she had died of natural causes several hours earlier. An autopsy will be performed.

Mrs Carlson’s daughter Vanessa D’Souza, 41, said her mother’s death was sudden and extremely upsetting.

“My first priority was to let people know, because I thought you would not want to send your mother or grandmother on that [ship].”

Ms D’Souza has been in contact with her sister, who said large numbers of cruise passengers were locked out of their rooms on Monday morning and not told why. The family believes dozens of rooms on two decks of the ship were being cleaned and disinfected.

A P&O spokesperson acknowledged the death but denied there was a gastro outbreak.

Gastroenteritis is not a “notifiable” condition, meaning there is no obligation to report such an outbreak.

One passenger was medically evacuated from the ship by helicopter on Monday for reasons which could not be divulged.

Ms D’Souza said most of the passengers on board “can’t wait to get off”.

“We’d like some answers,” she said. “Is there really some issue with hygiene, or is there something going wrong?”

 

Probe launched after second ill pensioner dies after Scots staff send her on 450 mile taxi ride home

As Scotland grapples with 150 children sick from Norovirus at two schools, it has emerged that a second ill pensioner has died after being sent home hundreds of miles in a taxi from a Scottish hotel.

norovirus-elderly-womanThe Herald Scotland reports the Loch Achray Hotel in Callander, Stirlingshire, sent ill 79-year-old Norma Francis home on a 350-mile taxi journey to her home in Gnosall, Stafford, after showing symptoms of gastric illness. 

Norma fell unconscious during the journey and later died in hospital after paramedics were unable to waken her. 

Three weeks after Norma died on April 6, the hotel sent guest Carol Whymark, 70, and her husband, 73, home to Suffolk 450 miles in a taxi after it was suspected she was suffering from norovirus. 

The pensioner died of a heart attack in hospital the next day. 

Her daughter Sharone says the family have instructed lawyers to investigate Carol’s stay at the hotel, booked through Lochs and Glens Holidays Limited. 
Sharone, 47, said: “I just think it is terrible that this could have happened once, let alone twice. It’s disgusting. 

“I’ve lost my mum, my dad lost his wife and my daughter her nanny. I’m disgusted and this needs investigating. 

“I’m still numb really. I still feel angry.” 

Carol, who was on a coach tour of Scotland, woke up feeling unwell at the hotel on April 28. 

Her daughter said staff told husband Desmond that his wife had norovirus and offered him rubber gloves to clean the room and left food and water outside. 

The family claim no appropriate medical advice was given and the hotel simply offered a taxi home. 

A post mortem revealed she did not have norovirus in her system and died of the heart attack. 

Sharone said: “Mum said she didn’t feel 100 per cent – but there was no evidence of vomiting or loose stools. There was no medical attention at all. 

“They said to my dad there was a 90 per cent chance he will catch the virus. 

“Half an hour later they said she was fit to travel nine hours home. It’s so wrong. 
“When they came and said they would pay for a taxi, she said, ‘Yes, let’s go home’. 

“The poor lady who passed away three weeks before, she actually did have norovirus. 

“But my mum didn’t have it. 

“The hotel thought she had norovirus because the other lady did. 

Going public: Alzheimer’s edition

My grandfather died of Alzheimer’s.

gene.wilderIt affected me in ways I still can’t understand.

It wasn’t pretty, so stark that my grandmother took her own life rather than spend winter days going to a hospital where the man she had loved for all those years increasingly didn’t recognize her.

So when Gene Wilder, who died of complications from Alzheimer’s at 83 on Monday, says, I didn’t want to tell anyone of my condition because I didn’t want to lose a fan’s smile, I don’t buy it.

I’ve got lots of demons, and what I’ve learned is that it’s best to be public about them. It removes the stigma. It makes one recognize they are not alone. It’s humbling (and that is good).

Gene Wilder was born Jerome Silberman in Milwaukee on June 11, 1933. His father, William, a manufacturer and salesman of novelty items, was an immigrant from Russia. His mother, the former Jeanne Baer, suffered from a rheumatic heart and a temperament that sometimes led her to punish him angrily and then smother him with

 “I don’t like show business, I realized,” he said in 2008. “I like show, but I don’t like the business.”

He was by then enjoying a new career as a novelist. His “My French Whore,” published in 2007, was the story of a naïve young American who impersonates a German spy in World War I (“just fluff, but sweet fluff,” the novelist Carolyn See wrote in her review in The Washington Post). It was followed by two more novels, “The Woman Who Wouldn’t” and “Something to Remember You By,” and a story collection, “What Is This Thing Called Love?”

Jordan Walker-Pearlman said  the cause was complications from Alzheimer’s Disease with which he co-existed for the last three years. The choice to keep this private was his choice, in talking with us and making a decision as a family.”