UK pets tested in E. coli O55 investigation

A number of pets linked with an E. coli outbreak in Dorset are being tested as experts work to identify the source.

dog.sweep.poopIt follows the discovery of the E. coli O55 strain in animal droppings outside a house of a family recently affected.

Public Health England (PHE) described this – the first non-human case – as “interesting.”

Two children were treated in hospital for serious kidney problems following E. coli O55 infections last month. They have since been allowed home.

It is not clear whether the fecal sample which tested positive came from a wild or domestic animal.

A cluster of cases of the bacterial illness in Dorset was investigated in November 2014, with another outbreak in May, but no common source was found.

Oklahoma toddler gets E. coli after splash pad visit

Kelli Dupuy’s daughter is just 18 months old. At that age, there are a lot of firsts.

“First trip,” Dupuy said. “We went to the splash pad, and she loved it.”

Her first trip to a local splash pad also led to another first.

“The very next day, the next morning she up, and she was sick,” Dupuy said. “Never had been sick. Ever.”

Dupuy took her to the doctor.

“The test came back positive for E. coli,” she said. “It’s fecal matter. How terrifying is that?”

86,000 sickened: Waterborne outbreaks in Nordic Countries, 1998 To 2012


We love it, take it for granted, and yet water can be the source of horrific outbreaks, like E. coli O157 in Walkerton, Ontario, Canada.

walkertonA total of 175 waterborne outbreaks affecting 85,995 individuals were notified to the national outbreak surveillance systems in Denmark, Finland and Norway from 1998 to 2012, and in Sweden from 1998 to 2011. Between 4 and 18 outbreaks were reported each year during this period.

Outbreaks occurred throughout the countries in all seasons, but were most common (n = 75/169, 44%) between June and August. Viruses belonging to the Caliciviridae family and Campylobacter were the pathogens most frequently involved, comprising n = 51 (41%) and n = 36 (29%) of all 123 outbreaks with known aetiology respectively.

Although only a few outbreaks were caused by parasites (Giardia and/or Cryptosporidium), they accounted for the largest outbreaks reported during the study period, affecting up to 53,000 persons. Most outbreaks, 124 (76%) of those with a known water source (n = 163) were linked to groundwater. A large proportion of the outbreaks (n = 130/170, 76%) affected a small number of people (less than 100 per outbreak) and were linked to single-household water supplies. However, in 11 (6%) of the outbreaks, more than 1,000 people became ill.

Although outbreaks of this size are rare, they highlight the need for increased awareness, particularly of parasites, correct water treatment regimens, and vigilant management and maintenance of the water supply and distribution systems.

Waterborne Outbreaks in the Nordic Countries, 1998 To 2012

Eurosurveillance, Volume 20, Issue 24, 18 June 2015

B Guzman-Herrador, A Carlander, S Ethelberg, B Freiesleben de Blasio, M Kuusi, V Lund6, M Löfdahl, E MacDonald, G Nichols, C Schönning, B Sudre, L Trönnberg, L Vold, J C Semenza, K Nygård

Who flies with meat? 27kg of raw meat seized at Toronto airport

A traveler arriving from Egypt was found at Toronto Pearson International Airport with luggage filled with 27 kilograms of undeclared, raw meat last week.

who.throws.a.shoe_On June 9, Canada Border Services Agency officers found the partly frozen beef cuts, a whole goose and some smaller avian birds inside luggage.

The meat was found by a detector dog named Scout, in the baggage carousel of Terminal 1.

Any meat, animal hides, fruit, plants or insects must be declared to Canada Border Services agents. CBSA says that uninspected raw meat may damage Canada’s food supply, economy, environment and human health.

E. coli burden: 25 years later, Florida dad matches 66 pints of blood given to save son

Brad Kolhoff was 7 years old when he was infected with E. coli, which caused his kidneys to shut down. He needed more than 5 dozen blood transfusions to stay alive — and he got them, thanks to donors.

kolhoff.blood.donorFather Richard Kolhoff said, “When we were first told his chances of survival were not all great, we just went through the process. I really didn’t have a lot of time to sit and think and worry. My son, when he was in the first grade, took 66 units of blood products, and I considered it my personal debt to repay.”

Richard has been donating pint by pint for the last 24 years to give back the 66 pints that saved his son.

Good riddance: Raw pork liver fans say goodbye to banned sashimi in Japan

Fans of raw pork liver savored their last chance to taste the dish on Thursday night as they expressed mixed feelings on the arrival of a new food safety regulation Friday that bans eateries from serving pork sashimi.

raw.pork_.japan_“I often eat (pork liver sashimi) at yakiton (grilled pork) restaurants. I don’t know what I’ll do if I can’t eat it anymore,” said Hiromi Sasamoto, 33, as she downed the sashimi at Aji no Isohei, a pub in Tokyo’s Oimachi district.

“I always order this if restaurants have it on the menu,” said Shota Komukai, 31, who was with Sasamoto, adding that he likes the melting texture and sweetness of what is known locally as buta reba sashi.

A 42-year-old man who hadn’t eaten pork liver before said he came to taste it because Thursday was the last day to try it.

Compared with beef liver sashimi, “it tastes plainer. It’s delicious,” he said.

Restaurants said they got extremely busy serving the sashimi as the deadline approached.

One in ten cheeses in Switzerland fail hygiene test

Almost 10% of Swiss and foreign cheese samples tested in Switzerland by cantonal authorities failed to meet the hygiene criteria prescribed by Swiss regulations. Those made from raw milk were the worst offenders.

Swiss-CheeseThe results of the tests were released on Monday by the Swiss Association of Cantonal Chemists, who tested a total of 560 cheeses sold all over Switzerland in 2014. While a reassuring 91% of the samples met the legal requirements concerning hygiene, the same could not be said of the rest, which showed traces of certain bacteria like E. coli when tested.

US CDC says antibiotic resistance in foodborne germs is an ongoing threat

It’s nice that the scientists and PR-types at CDC, who for decades insisted that foodborne illness be publicly attributed to bacteria or viruses or parasites, out of scientific accuracy, are now referring to them as germs.

Family guy barfPeople really care about what is going to make them barf, not what it’s called.

Antibiotic resistance in foodborne germs, an ongoing public health threat, continued to show both positive and challenging trends in 2013, according to human illness data posted online today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Efforts are underway to curb the injudicious use of antibiotics, but each year, antibiotic-resistant infections from foodborne germs cause an estimated 440,000 illnesses in the United States.

The National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) tracks changes in the antibiotic resistance of six types of common foodborne germs found in ill people, retail meats, and food animals. In 2013, NARMS tested more than 5,000 germs from sick people for antibiotic resistance and compared them with previous years’ data to assess changes in resistance patterns.

Among the findings in the new NARMS report on human illnesses:

The good news is that multidrug resistance (resistance to 3 or more classes of antibiotics) in Salmonella overall stayed steady, remaining at 10 percent of infections.

However, resistance in some types of Salmonella is increasing. For example, multidrug resistance in a common Salmonella serotype called I4,[5],12:i:- was 46 percent, more than double the rate from two years before. In the United States, resistance in this serotype to four drugs (ampicillin, streptomycin, sulfonamides, and tetracycline) rose from 18 percent in 2011 to 46 percent in 2013. Human illness with this serotype has been linked to animal exposure and consumption of pork or beef, including meats purchased from live animal markets.

NARMS also tests Campylobacter, another germ that is transmitted by food. One in four Campylobacter samples from sick people are still resistant to quinolones like ciprofloxacin.

Most Salmonella and Campylobacter infections cause diarrheal illness that resolves within a week without antibiotics. These germs can also cause infection of the bloodstream and other sites. In more serious infections and when germs are resistant, antibiotics may be ineffective, increasing the chance of a severe illness.

The 2013 NARMS Annual Human Isolates Report is now available at

1 dead, 7 kids sick from E. coli at SC day care

South Carolina health officials say an eighth case of E. coli has been traced to a daycare center that’s now temporarily closed.

e.coli.myles.mayfieldThe South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control said Monday evening that there are now eight confirmed cases of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) associated with The Learning Vine daycare in Greenwood County. That comes after seven confirmed cases were reported on Sunday night.

An investigation began after 2-year-old Myles Mayfield (right), a boy who attended The Learning Vine, developed an E. coli infection. Mayfield died from complications after developing hemolytic uremic syndrome.

On Sunday, officials said four of the cases have bacteria of the same strain. Two of the seven individuals with confirmed E. coli cases are hospitalized, DHEC said. – Columbia, South Carolina