Handwashing is never enough: E. coli outbreak suspected at Oregon fair

Washington County health officials are investigating after cases of Shiga-toxin producing E. coli were reported after some attendants at the Washington County Fair became ill.

Microbiologist Mi Kang works to identify a strain of E. coli from a specimen in a lab at the Washington State Dept. of Health Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, in Shoreline, Wash. Chipotle's industry-leading commitment to tracking its ingredients from farm to table is being put to the test by an E. coli outbreak that has sickened at least 37 people as of Tuesday, nearly all of whom ate recently at one of the chain's restaurants in Washington state or Oregon. Scientists also said that they identified the specific microorganism responsible, which they believe was carried on fresh produce such as lettuce or tomatoes. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

No sources has been identified, but public health officials said that livestock at the Washington County Fair may have been a cause, as well as food items brought to the fair from outside.

According to Washington County, anyone who attended the Washington County Fair and has had, or develops, symptoms of stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting or fever, should call their health care provider.

“The best way to prevent getting STEC infection is by washing hands well with soap and water,” Baumann said. “It’s very important to wash your hands after using the bathroom or changing diapers, before preparing or eating food, and after contact with animals or their environments at farms, petting zoos and fairs.”

A table of petting zoo outbreaks is available at http://barfblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Petting-Zoo-Outbreaks-Table-5-5-16.xlsx

Best practices for planning events encouraging human-animal interations

Zoonoses and Public Health 62:90-99

Erdozain , K. KuKanich , B. Chapman and D. Powell, 2015

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/zph.12117/abstract?deniedAccess

 Educational events encouraging human–animal interaction include the risk of zoonotic disease transmission. ‘It is estimated that 14% of all disease in the USA caused by Campylobacter spp., Cryptosporidium spp., Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157, non-O157 STECs, Listeria monocytogenes, nontyphoidal Salmonella enterica and Yersinia enterocolitica were attributable to animal contact. This article reviews best practices for organizing events where human–animal interactions are encouraged, with the objective of lowering the risk of zoonotic disease transmission.

We never had a problem: 10 sick with crypto linked to Minn. farm visit

The Litchfield Independent Review reports the Minnesota Department of Health is investigating an outbreak of diarrheal illness possibly linked to school students visiting Nelson Farm southwest of Litchfield.

girl with rabbitMore than 10 cases of diarrheal illness, including three confirmed cases of Cryptosporidium infection, have been reported from five different schools. In all cases, individuals had taken field trips to Nelson Farm, according to a health advisory issued by the agency May 26.

On the morning of May 26, Department of Health officials visited the farm to tour its facilities, according to Nelson Farm owner Don Nelson.

“Right now we don’t even know if it came from our farm,” he said. “We won’t know until next week (when the test results come back).”

Outbreaks associated with farm animal contact may include multiple pathogens including Salmonella, Campylobacter, Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), and Cryptosporidium, the health advisory states. The incubation period for these illnesses range from 12 hours to as long as 14 days.

Don said he was informed the evening of May 25 of the possible outbreak, which came as a surprise to both himself and his wife, Sonja.

“We’ve done this for 30 years, and we have never ever have been called on this before,” Sonja said.

“We won’t deny that there is chance we wouldn’t have anything because everything has bacteria,” she added, but emphasized that the Department of Health has not confirmed whether Nelson Farm caused the outbreak.

topleftDon said Department of Health officials were impressed with the overall state of the farm, noting that they had positive comments on the farm’s hand washing areas and where visitors eat.

“I’m very, very concerned because we want to make it a healthy experience on the farm,” Don said. “That’s our goal.”

Since being notified by the state, Don has called all the schools that visited Nelson Farm since May 9 to see if children have gotten sick, one of which was the School of St. Philip.

Nearly 20 kindergarten, first-grade and second-grade students at the School of St. Philip visited the farm May 23 for their annual spring field trip.

“At this point we have not heard of any instances associated with that outbreak,” Principal Michelle Kramer said.

While on the farm, students toured an old barn, visited animals, played in the hay barn and had lunch at the farm.

“I’m sure we’ll be back at Nelson Farm next year. These things happen, and we have to take every precaution that we can, but we’re not going to cut them out of our school schedule because they have a very great deal to add to our programming here,” Kramer said.

For Don and Sonja, the investigation has become a teaching opportunity in how to prevent the transmission of illnesses.

“Thirty years ago it was our goal to get close to the animals to give the best possible learning experience,” Don said.

Many of the students who are visiting the farm are now more susceptible to diseases than 30 years ago, he explained.

“Our young students don’t play in the dirt as much, not around as many farm animals, generally live in cleaner environments such as schools, homes, businesses, therefore immunity and resistance to diseases is lower today,” Don said.

Another time for Don’s version of the hygiene hypothesis. For now, focus on the kids.

A table of petting zoo outbreaks is available at http://barfblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Petting-Zoo-Outbreaks-Table-5-5-16.xlsx

Best practices for planning events encouraging human-animal interations

Zoonoses and Public Health 62:90-99

Erdozain , K. KuKanich , B. Chapman and  D. Powell, 2015

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/zph.12117/abstract?deniedAccess

Educational events encouraging human–animal interaction include the risk of zoonotic disease transmission. ‘It is estimated that 14% of all disease in the USA caused by Campylobacter spp., Cryptosporidium spp., Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157, non-O157 STECs, Listeria monocytogenes, nontyphoidal Salmonella enterica and Yersinia enterocolitica were attributable to animal contact. This article reviews best practices for organizing events where human–animal interactions are encouraged, with the objective of lowering the risk of zoonotic disease transmission.

Try harder: UK petting farm ‘doing all it can’ after E. coli outbreak

The owners of a petting farm at the centre of a parasitic disease outbreak that has left dozens ill said they are working with the local authority to investigate its cause.

swithern.farmIan and Angela Broadhead, who run Swithens Farm, in Rothwell, Leeds, have reassured visitors that their “health, safety and welfare” is of “utmost importance” to them as they continue to work with public health experts.

The petting farm has been linked to 29 cases of cryptosporidiosis, and two cases of E.coli O157.

The Broadhead family said: “As a small family-run business the health, safety and welfare of our visitors is of utmost importance to us all.

handwash.UK_.petting.zoo_.09Between January and May 2015 around 130 people were affected by outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis linked to petting farms in England.

PHE has advised all visitors to wash their hands after touching animals.

Handwashing, however, is never enough.

A table of petting zoo outbreaks is available at http://barfblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Petting-Zoo-Outbreaks-Table-5-5-16.xlsx

Best practices for planning events encouraging human-animal interations

Zoonoses and Public Health 62:90-99

Erdozain , K. KuKanich , B. Chapman and  D. Powell, 2015

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/zph.12117/abstract?deniedAccess

Educational events encouraging human–animal interaction include the risk of zoonotic disease transmission. ‘It is estimated that 14% of all disease in the USA caused by Campylobacter spp., Cryptosporidium spp., Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157, non-O157 STECs, Listeria monocytogenes, nontyphoidal Salmonella enterica and Yersinia enterocolitica were attributable to animal contact. This article reviews best practices for organizing events where human–animal interactions are encouraged, with the objective of lowering the risk of zoonotic disease transmission.

petting1-791x1024

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31 sick: More than just an ‘upset tummy’ Another petting zoo, another E. coli /crypto outbreak

An outbreak of E.coli and parasitic disease cryptosporidiosis at a Leeds petting farm has led to more than 30 people falling ill.

swithens.farm.2Public health experts have launched an investigation into the outbreak, which has been linked to Swithens Farm, in Rothwell, Leeds.

A total of 29 cases of cryptosporidiosis have so far been confirmed.

Two cases of E. coli O157 have also been reported. All those affected visited Swithens Farm from the beginning of March onwards.

Public Health England (PHE) has been drafted in to deal with the issue and the owners of the farm voluntarily closed the facility for a period after the outbreak became apparent.

The petting farm has since reopened and its owners say “every effort is being taken to ensure that visitors are not put at risk.”

Dr Mike Gent, consultant in communicable disease control with Public Health England, said, “People may be tempted to use hand gels and wipes during a farm visit and after touching animals but, although they remove visible dirt and contamination, they may not be effective in removing the germs found on farms.”

Ian and Angela Broadhead, who run Swithens Farm, have released a statement explaining that they are working with the council after becoming aware that “there have been some children with upset stomachs.”

A table of petting zoo outbreaks is available at http://barfblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Petting-Zoo-Outbreaks-Table-5-5-16.xlsx

4 infants hospitalized, 4 others sickened due to E. coli outbreak on Kibbutz

Eight babies from Kibbutz Nir Or located near Gaza were infected with E. coli, four of which were hospitalized at Soroka Hospital in Be’er Sheva.

One baby is in serious condition, and two are suffering from kidney failure, according to reports.

The infection apparently originated from the petting zoo area of the Kibbutz. The Ministry of Health is currently performing tests and ordered to temporarily close the nursery where the children were infected.

It’s not a virus or bacterium, it’s a parasite: 7 positive, 16 sick with crypto after visit to Welsh petting farm

A Monmouthshire farm has cancelled a series of open day visits for primary school children following the outbreak of a diarrhea-causing virus.

powell.namePublic Health Wales along with Torfaen and Monmouthshire councils are continuing to investigate an outbreak of cryptosporidium associated with Coleg Gwent’s farm in Usk.

Seven people have tested positive for cryptosporidium and 16 others are suspected of having the bug after regular attendance at the farm or contact with those who have.

Heather Lewis, consultant in health protection for Public Health Wales, said: “We are continuing to work with Coleg Gwent, who have written to all students who may have been on the farm in March.

“As a precaution, Coleg Gwent have also cancelled a series of open days which were due to take place with invited primary schools from Tuesday, April 12 to Friday, April 15.”

A spokesman from Public Health Wales said: “Good hand washing after coming into contact with farm animals, their bedding or dirty equipment including clothing is of the utmost importance in preventing infection with cryptosporidium.

“There is no reason for anyone to avoid visiting petting farms as long as they ensure that anyone who has touched animals, thoroughly washes their hands with hot water and soap immediately afterwards and before eating, as hand sanitisers or alcoholic gels should not be solely relied upon.”

Handwashing is never enough.

Welsh farm investigated after visitors test positive for crypto

A Monmouthshire farm is being investigated after a number of visitors tested positive for a microscopic parasite that causes a diarrheal disease.

Coleg Gwent’s farm in UskPublic Health Wales, Torfaen County Borough Council and Monmouthshire County Council are investigating an outbreak of cryptosporidium at Coleg Gwent’s farm in Usk.

Three people have tested positive for cryptosporidium and eight others are under investigation after a regular attendance at the farm.

“All the confirmed cases had direct contact with the lambs at the college farm. As part of our investigations, we are checking on all those whom we believe had contact with these animals and Coleg Gwent is co­operating fully with our investigations.

 

‘Build a facility where people where people can wash their hands’; handwashing is never enough

I’m passionate about food safety because real people – folks who are just like my family, my neighbors or the guys on my hockey team – get sick every day.

Amanda Collins is a real person. NBC Connecticut reports that Amanda and her daughter are two of at least 15 people are ill with pathogenic E. coli after visiting a Connecticut goat farm.imagejpeg_02

“I walked right in,” Collins said. “Me loving farms, I held the goats, pet the goats and brought my daughter into the stall.”

Collins said it was a wonderful experience, with a knowledgeable staff and plenty of children and their parents around petting the goats.

However, a few days after the visit, the symptoms started. At first, she thought she had a stomach bug, but when her daughter developed the same symptoms, she knew something was wrong.

“Friday is when it hit, when I ended up having inestinal pain, diarrhea, seeing bloody stool,” Collins said. “And just seeing her go through the same thing that I physically felt myself is agnozing.“

After trips to the doctor’s office and the emergency room, both she and her daughter tested positive for E.coli. She did not put all of the pieces together until she got a call from the CDC.

“That’s when it clicked and I was like I did visit a farm and I had a lot of interaction with the animals,” Collins said.

“I cried a lot,” Collins said. “I was very anxious. I was upset about it at first, but never angry at the farm though.”

Collins said both she and her daughter used hand sanitizer at the farm and wet wipes once they got to the car. She said this will not stop them from visiting farms in the future.

“The only thing I would have to said is please build a facility where people where people can wash their hands because I think that will stop a lot from spreading.” Collins said.

Reducing risk in animal contact settings is more than just handwashing. Soil, sawdust, rails and food are all vectors.

Click here for a table summarizing petting zoo and animal contact outbreaks over the past 25 years.

15 sick with E. coli linked to goats at Conn. farm

The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) today issued the following update on the E.coli outbreak linked to the Oak Leaf Farm in Lebanon, CT

aok.leaf.dairyAs of 1:00 p.m. today, DPH is investigating 15 confirmed cases of E. coli O157 infection.  The number of cases could increase in the near future as DPH is actively identifying individuals who were not initially reported. 

 So far, investigators have been able to link 14 of these cases to Oak Leaf Farm.  The patients range in age from 1-44 years old, with a median age of six.  In total, five patients have been hospitalized with three still in the hospital.  Two of the hospitalized patients have been diagnosed with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), as first reported last week.

 Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) dispatched a team to Connecticut to assist in the investigation of this outbreak.  Today, officials from DPH, the Connecticut Department of Agriculture, the Uncas Health District, and the CDC team are at the Oak Leaf Farm conducting an onsite investigation.  The Farm remains voluntarily closed to the public, and the owners are cooperating with the investigation.

 The outbreak was first identified on Thursday, March 24th when six of seven individuals sickened with E. coli were confirmed by DPH to have recently visited Oak Leaf Farm and come into contact with goats on the farm. 

From the we’ve-never-made-anyone-sick-before files: Conn. E. coli on goat farm edition

The goat farm in Lebanon that may be linked to an E. coli outbreak has been given two stipulations by the health department, the owner told NBC Connecticut.

oak-leaf-dairy-goat-farm-march-6th-1024x684Oak Leaf Dairy Farm is no longer allowed to have the public visit its goats and may not distribute unpasteurized products, Mark Reynolds, the farm’s owner, said.

Reynolds said the outbreak has already started affecting his wholesale business. He said he had never had E. coli linked to his farm before.

The Department of Health and other agencies began to investigate Oak Leaf Dairy Farm after seven people contracted E. coli.

Six of those people were children who visited the farm and petted the goats.

Connecticut Children’s Medical Center said two patients have been diagnosed with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).