90 sick after swimming at Pennsylvania park

I don’t know what it is about Cowans Gap State Park’s beach and lake.

cowan_gap_state_park_lake(3)In 2011, at least 18 people were sickened with E. coli O157.

Now, the beach and lake is closed again as the Pennsylvania Department of Health continues to investigate what sickened people the weekend of July 18.

The latest information from the state said more than 90 people might have fallen ill after swimming in the lake in Fulton County. The estimate in an initial news release was “more than two dozen cases.

Department of Health spokeswoman Amy Worden said Monday she did not have an update on what caused the sickness. Epidemiologists and lab technicians are studying stool samples.

Frozen berries, how I used to love you, and now I cook you

Epidemiological investigations of outbreaks of hepatitis A virus (HAV) and norovirus (NoV) infections in the European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA) in the last five years have highlighted frozen berries as a vehicle of infection.

frozen.strawberry-300x225Given the increasing berry consumption in the EU over the last decades, we undertook a review of the existing evidence to assess the potential scale of threat associated with this product. We searched the literature and four restricted-access online platforms for outbreak/contamination events associated with consumption of frozen berries. We performed an evaluation of the sources to identify areas for improvement. The review revealed 32 independent events (i.e. outbreak, food contamination) in the period 1983–2013, of which 26 were reported after 2004. The identified pathogens were NoV, HAV and Shigella sonnei. NoV was the most common and implicated in 27 events with over 15,000 cases reported. A capture–recapture analysis was performed including three overlapping sources for the period 2005–2013.

The study estimated that the event-ascertainment was 62%. Consumption of frozen berries is associated with increasing reports of NoV and HAV outbreaks and contamination events, particularly after 2003. A review of the risks associated with this product is required to inform future prevention strategies.

Better integration of the available communication platforms and databases should be sought at EU/EEA level to improve monitoring, prevention and control of food-borne-related events.

Food-borne diseases associated with frozen berries consumption: A historical perspective, European Union, 1983 to 2013

Eurosurveillance, Volume 20, Issue 29, 23 July 2015

Tavoschi L, Severi E, Niskanen T, Boelaert F, Rizzi V, Liebana E, Gomes Dias J, Nichols G, Takkinen J, Coulombier D.

http://www.eurosurveillance.org/ViewArticle.aspx?ArticleId=21193

Beaches closed after 29 swimmers sickened with Norovirus, at Pennsylvania park

State officials have closed the beaches at a central Pennsylvania state park after at least 29 swimmers were sickened with Norovirus, and possibly E. coli bacteria in the water.

Cowans Gap State ParkThe lake and beach at Cowans Gap State Park have been closed to swimmers, though fishing and boating are still permitted. The park straddles the border of Franklin and Fulton counties and is located about 60 miles west of Harrisburg.

100 lawyers and students sickened: Lawsuit filed against Chinatown restaurant in Philadelphia

A lawsuit has been filed against a Chinatown restaurant after about 100 lawyers and law students attending a private Lunar New Year dinner in February said they developed food poisoning.

Joy Tsin LauSamantha F. Green, a Philadelphia lawyer who attended the event at Joy Tsin Lau on 10th and Race streets and who said she was diagnosed with the norovirus, filed the lawsuit, citing a “sordid history of health code violation and food-borne illness.”

A copy of the document filed in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on Monday was obtained by Philly.com, which reported the story.

Green’s lawyer wrote in the lawsuit that Joy Tsin Lau was cited for 249 health code violations by the Philadelphia Department of Health in the past six years.

The document also stated that on the morning after the dinner, Green began to feel ill and “raced to the emergency room at Pennsylvania Hospital in agonizing pain. Following nine hours of vomiting, she was unable to consume anything but bananas and tea for four days.”

The lawsuit also noted that 17 days before the banquet, a city health department restaurant inspector allegedly declared that management practices at Joy Tsin Lau allowed “unacceptable public health or food-safety conditions,” and four days after the food-poisoning incident, another city inspector allegedly found “41 violations that indicated a chronic inability to adhere to basic food safety standards.”

The most recent complaint by the city was filed May 6, but a July 6 court date on the complaint was canceled.

A representative of Joy Tsin Lau did not comment on the lawsuit or past complaints. The restaurant currently remains open.

Don’t serve food when you’re sick: Almost 300 in mass lawsuit over UK Toby Carvery norovirus outbreak

The number of people who are taking legal action against an Exeter restaurant following an outbreak of norovirus has nearly reached 300.

toby.carvery.exeterLawyers are investigating the norovirus outbreak at Toby Carvery at the Exeter Arms, Middlemoor.

Irwin Mitchell have now revealed that it is representing 285 people in relation to the case.

They believe more than 300 people may have been affected by the outbreak.

The restaurant chain confirmed that tests run by the Environmental Health department, after a man was sick in the restaurant foyer in the evening of Sunday, March 29 tested positive for the virus.

The pub underwent a deep clean overnight on Thursday, April 2, but continued to trade over the busy Easter bank holiday weekend when more customers fell ill, finally closing on Tuesday, April 7.

Raw still risky: 102 sickened with Norovirus in oysters at Taiwan restaurant

A recent diarrhea outbreak among 102 tourists on Green Island off Taitung was caused by a norovirus infection at a local seafood restaurant that had served contaminated raw oysters imported from South Korea, Taiwan’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported Thursday.

SUN0705N-Oyster7Taitung health authorities have received seven suspected food poisoning cases between June 26-30 which involved 102 tourists in six tour groups who displayed symptoms of diarrhea, with 76 of whom having been hospitalized.

After an investigation, Taitung County’s Public Health Bureau found that all the 120 people had eaten raw oysters at a seafood restaurant on Green Island and directed that all restaurants around the island to stop serving raw oysters.

In addition, two raw oyster samples have been found with the presence of norovirus, while two travelers who visited local hospitals tested positive for the norovirus, according to a report from the FDA on July 8.

The FDA then traced the sources of the contaminated products and found they were among a total of 16,447.5 kilograms of raw oysters imported by two aquaculture companies in New Taipei and Kaohsiung from South Korea, a FDA official said Thursday.

 

Pay attention when staff barf: 96 sickened from Cowfish in NC

At least 96 people were sickened during the Norovirus outbreak at The Cowfish restaurant in early June, according to county health department records obtained by the Observer.

norovirusThe records, obtained through a public records request, provide the fullest account yet of the extent of the illnesses at the popular SouthPark sushi and burger bar.

Records show one Norovirus case was confirmed by a state Department of Health and Human Services laboratory. Ninety-five others were deemed “probable” by health officials. Just one person reported visiting a hospital.

The outbreak prompted the restaurant to close twice, once on June 5 and again on June 10. It reopened June 16.

Cowfish owner Alan Springate, responding by email to questions from the Observer, said his staff began to suspect a problem late in the day on Friday, June 5, when a customer reported some members of his party had become ill in the preceding two days.

Wednesday and Thursday of that week, two other guests had reported illnesses, but the restaurant had suspected a problem with a food item, calamari, which both guests had consumed. Cowfish removed the item from its menu and contacted its suppliers.

The person reporting on June 5 had not consumed calamari, though. At that point, “we began to consider the possibility that we were dealing with something other than a food issue,” Springate wrote.

After the Cowfish posted news of its closing on Facebook June 6, others began coming forward to report they’d been sickened. The restaurant contacted each of them and shared details with the health department, Springate said.

By the time the restaurant knew something was amiss on June 5, at least nine of the restaurant’s roughly 140 employees had been sickened, according to a report by state health inspector Nicole Lee. The first fell ill May 31, she wrote.

Springate’s email said that while some employees had called in sick, “nothing raised a red flag.”

“It’s critical to understand that although we now know we were experiencing an uptick in illness, many employees had not yet notified us because they were not scheduled to work,” he said.

 

Don’t be creepy: Singer gave Lionel Richie Norovirus after lips smooch at Glastonbury

Alex Jones gave the Norovirus to Lionel Richie after he planted a kiss on her lips.

lionel.richieThe One Show host joked the singer, who had to cancel two of his gigs after contracting the infection by pecking her at Glastonbury, should have just gone for her cheek to avoid having to cancel two of his gigs as a result.

She told The Sun: “After Lionel and I had just finished our chat on the show, I went to give him a kiss on the cheek and he went in for the lips.

“He caught the Norovirus off me and had to cancel two of his tour dates.”

55 sick: Norovirus linked to NC Cowfish Sushi Bar illness55 sick: Norovirus linked to NC Cowfish Sushi Bar illness

The Mecklenburg County Health Department believes norovirus is what caused customers and employees at Cowfish Sushi Bar and Grill to become sick.

Cowfish Sushi Bar and GrillTwenty-one employees and 34 customers reported flu-like symptoms, prompting the restaurant to close Saturday.

They have since sanitized and are back open.

The Health Department says it could have been passed on any number of ways.

“It could have been some contaminated object or presumably a contaminated food, but somebody had to have it to contaminate it in the first place,” said Dr. Stephen Keener, the medical director for Mecklenburg County.

The virus can live anywhere from days to weeks.

Finland marketing: Please don’t go to the toilet in the water

And you thought Canadians were polite (we’re not, we swear a lot, fornicate and play hockey, what else to do in cold weather; sorta like Finland).

la-et-mn-russell-crowe-career-in-pictures-2015-045Finland’s health authorities have been issuing advice in an attempt to prevent the spread of Norovirus among swimmers this summer, following last year’s outbreak when hundreds of beachgoers caught the contagious vomiting bug.

Authorities are now keen to avoid a repeat of last year’s numerous beach closures.

Senior inspector Jaana Kilponen, from the health and safety executive Valvira, said that changing rooms and toilet facilities at bathing spots were also responsible for the spread.

“When you’ve got ideal swimming conditions, such as warm water and lots of people, then it’s important that authorities make sure the facilities are cleaned more frequently, and kept well stocked with soap and hand towels,” she told Yle.

Kilponen also implored swimmers to avoid being sick or going to the toilet in the water – and not to drink it. Anyone with Norovirus should wait two weeks before going swimming. Kilponen admits that in theory it’s possible that a single infected swimmer could contaminate the water.