125 ill with norovirus at Oregon V.A. hospital

Retirement homes and hospitals have a lot of trouble with norovirus. If an ill resident, patient or staff member sheds the virus through vomit or poop in a public area a lot of folks can get sick.

According to KDRV ABC Channel 12, The V.A. hospital in White City Oregon is dealing with its own norovirus outbreak with over 125 veterans and 25 staff ill.vomit

“This is very contact oriented, it’s not airborne, it’s by touch,” said V.A. Infection Preventionist Sue Thurston.

Thurston said about 470 vets live at the V.A, and more than a quarter of them are sick.
Veterans are being asked to not leave their rooms until they feel better and bag meals are dropped off at their rooms.

“We’re wiping down everything you can touch –  all the side rails, all the doorknobs, all the vending  machines, all the rooms, all the surfaces, every single flat surface is being wiped down and disinfected,” said Thurston (I wonder what sanitizer they are using and wiping may just be spreading virus particles around -ben).

Although the virus isn’t respiratory, epidemiological investigations of past outbreaks suggest that virus particles can be aerosolized through vomit events. At IAFP 2013, North Carolina State University graduate student Grace Tung showed a simulated vomit event would yield a spread of droplets 8-12 ft.; the greatest distance traveled in any one experiment was 14.5 ft.

4 dead, 101 sick; Norovirus strikes hospital in Japan

Norovirus continues to ravage Japan after four elderly patients died in an outbreak at a hospital in the western Japanese city of Kyoto.

Earlier, at least 77 contracted Norovirus after consuming bentos from a store, and over 1,000 schoolchildren were stricken after consuming norovirus.elderly womanbread that was probably contaminated by food workers.

The four victims at the hospital were in their 80s and 90s and were among 101 patients and staff members who have exhibited the virus-caused gastroenteritis symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea over the past five weeks at the hospital in Fushimi Ward of the city.

Police to investigate 2012 listeria deaths in NZ hospital

In July 2012, it was publicly revealed that two people had died and two others sickened in a listeria outbreak linked to hospital food in New Zealand.

The two elderly women died after contracting listeria found in cold cuts supplied to the Hawkes Bay Hospital.

imagesNow, police have taken over the investigation.

In May, the Ministry for Primary Industries laid Food Act charges against Napier company Bay Cuisine.

It is understood the company is facing more than 100 charges. It was due to have made its first appearance in Napier District Court today, but this has been adjourned to November.

Listeria was found in pre-packaged ready-to-eat meats that had been supplied to Hawke’s Bay Hospital. Listeria was also found at Bay Cuisine, the sole supplier of pre-packaged meats to the hospital. The company issued a recall notice for affected products.

Robin Hutchinson, whose wife Patricia was one of the women who died, said he was determined that someone be held accountable for her death.

Mrs Hutchinson, a 68-year-old great-grandmother, was admitted to Hawke’s Bay Hospital on May 5 last year with symptoms similar to a stroke. It was later discovered she had contracted listeria. She died on June 5.

For the past year Mr Hutchinson has battled ACC and the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board, which he feels should contribute to his wife’s funeral costs.

He said his wife was not properly informed of risks associated with prescribed immunosuppressants, and that the hospital should not have served her cold meat that presented a risk to people on the medication.

Hospital food contaminated with C. diff

Could Clostridium difficile be circulating in hospitals through food? A new report suggests, yes.

Houston researchers found that about one-fourth of nearly 100 hospital food samples they tested were positive for C. diff. Among the worst culprits: turkey, chicken, and egg products, vegetables and fruits, and desserts. Almost all were cooked.

It’s only one hospital. And no cases of human infection were linked to the food.

But together with past research, the findings suggest that contaminated food may be an important route of spread of C. diff in hospitals, says researcher Hoonmo Koo, MD, an infectious diseases specialist at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.

Moreover, the temperatures at which hospital foods are cooked may be too low to kill the bug, he says.

An infectious diseases expert not involved with the research says the major C. diff strains that contaminate food are different from the ones responsible for human disease.

“You should be more concerned about whether your doctor or nurse is washing their hands before touching you than about anything coming up from the cafeteria,” says Stuart Cohen, MD, professor of medicine at the University of California School of Medicine, Davis. Contaminated hands are a proven risk factor for infection.

The new study was presented at the annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America in San Diego.

Listeria in sandwich cold-cuts killed 8, sickened 20 over past 10 years in UK hospitals

Who are these dieticians in hospitals or aged facilities that keep feeding cold-cuts to the vulnerable? Do they have any food safety training? Didn’t they hear about the 23 elderly who were killed by Maple Leaf cold-cuts in Canada in 2008? Are they like the rest of us and ignore bland messages that state, refrigerated ready-to-eat foods like cold-cuts shouldn’t be consumed by immunocompromised people like the elderly or pregnant? How hard is it to heat the meat?

The UK Sun reports hospital sandwiches were yesterday revealed to have killed eight patients.

Watchdogs yesterday demanded a crackdown on shoddy handling of food after the grim toll over the past ten years was disclosed by the Health Protection Agency.

Twenty others were also poisoned by listeria but survived.

Sarnies were found to account for almost three quarters of outbreaks in hospitals — with the bug found in ham salad, sliced sausage, tuna, cheese and prawn mayo varieties.

Almost all were pre-packed by commercial firms — but at some stage had not been kept below 5°C.

Half of those hit were cancer patients weakened by chemotherapy treatment — leaving them less able to fight off the deadly bug.

The HPA warned: “Vulnerable patients and pregnant women can develop severe illness after ingesting levels that would not have an effect on other individuals. This suggests catering and ward staff are not aware of the importance of temperature control, or that proper methods of refrigeration were not used.”

3 dead, 51 sick; Clostridium perfringens illness at a state psychiatric hospital — Louisiana, 2010

On May 7, 2010, 42 residents and 12 staff members at a Louisiana state psychiatric hospital experienced vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea. Within 24 hours, three patients had died. The three fatalities occurred among patients aged 41–61 years who were receiving medications that had anti–intestinal motility side effects. For two of three decedents, the cause of death found on postmortem examination was necrotizing colitis. Investigation by the Louisiana Office of Public Health (OPH) and CDC found that eating chicken served at dinner on May 6 was associated with illness. The chicken was cooked approximately 24 hours before serving and not cooled in accordance with hospital guidelines. C. perfringens enterotoxin (CPE) was detected in 20 of 23 stool specimens from ill residents and staff members. Genetic testing of C. perfringens toxins isolated from chicken and stool specimens was carried out to determine which of the two strains responsible for C. perfringens foodborne illness was present. The specimens tested negative for the beta-toxin gene, excluding C. perfringens type C as the etiologic agent and implicating C. perfringens type A. This outbreak underscores the need for strict food preparation guidelines at psychiatric inpatient facilities and the potential risk for adverse outcomes among any patients with impaired intestinal motility caused by medications, disease, and extremes of age when exposed to C. perfringens enterotoxin.

Clostridium perfringens, the third most common cause of foodborne illness in the U.S., most often causes a self-limited, diarrheal disease lasting 12–24 hours. Fatalities are very rare, occurring in <0.03% of cases. Death usually is caused by dehydration and occurs among the very young, the very old, and persons debilitated by illness.

The full report is available from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6132a1.htm?s_cid=mm6132a1_x.

Stomach bug hits NZ health facilities

Just days after a deadly listeria outbreak in a New Zealand hospital was made public, some 40 patients at three health facilities supplied by North Shore Hospital’s kitchen have been hit by a stomach infection.

The outbreak was not related to the listeria outbreak reported in Hawkes Bay last week.

Errol Kiong a spokesman for North Shore Hospital, told the New Zealand Herald that Auckland Regional Public Health Service staff were trying to identify the reason for the outbreak, adding, "We think it may be related to food somehow. We don’t have any confirmation on that. The reason we think it’s food is because the supply chain for all three areas is from the same place. The food is prepared at North Shore Hospital."

Cold cuts again; 2 dead, 2 sick in NZ Listeria outbreak

Two people have died and two others sickened in a listeria outbreak linked to hospital food in New Zealand.

The two elderly women died after contracting listeria found in meat supplied to the Hawkes Bay Hospital.

Hawke’s Bay Today reports the cause of the women’s deaths – in June and this month – were reported a day after the recall notices were placed in newspapers by Napier company Bay Cuisine.

The company supplies the hospital’s kitchen and cafeteria, and the Mad Butcher and Preston shop chains.

The products included Mad Butcher 500g salami and pepperoni rolls.

The products, as well as Ratanui Hams and EZY Carve boneless leg ham, are sold in Mad Butcher and Preston stores in Wellington, Porirua and Palmerston North.

Four patients with listeria went to the Hastings hospital between May and June but the Hawkes Bay District Health Board said it was still unclear if they had contracted the illness while in its care.

However, it could not completely rule out the possibility.

Listeria outbreak leads to warning over hospital sandwiches

Almost a month after an elderly patient died in a Northern Ireland hospital and three others were sickened from Listeria, health trusts have been advised to stop serving sandwiches from a specific food company.

Following the outbreak, the trust carried out a review of food supplier and distribution chains with the Food Standards Agency and Environmental Health.

Health Minister Edwin Poots said preliminary results of tests on sandwiches provided to inpatients indicated low levels of listeria were present although he stressed these were within the legal limits.

In response to an Assembly question on the matter, he said: “As a precautionary measure the Northern Trust decided not to serve sandwiches from a particular supplier until investigations have been completed.

In 2008, three patients died during a listeria outbreak at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.

Also in 2008, 23 people – primarily elderly – died from Listeria in Maple Leaf deli meats in Canada. Maybe the sandwiches could be heated?

Pensioner dies in N. Ireland listeria outbreak

Maybe the meal-planner geniuses decided it would be OK to give sick old folks cold-cuts or deli meat to eat. That’s part of what happened in Canada in 2008 when 23 people – elderly with pre-existing medical conditions, many already in institutions — died from listeria-laden Maple Leaf deli meats.

Yesterday, an elderly patient died in an outbreak of listeria in two Northern Ireland hospitals.

The pensioner was one of two patients in the Antrim Area Hospital that contracted the foodborne bacteria. Another acquired the bug in the Causeway Hospital on the region’s north coast.

The patient who died was already ill but listeria has been confirmed as a contributory cause of death.

Both hospitals are managed by the Northern Trust, which has declared an outbreak.