There was lots of barfing at the Australian Open yesterday but it wasn’t food – the temperature reached 42C. It doesn’t even get that hot in Brisbane, the Tampa of Australia. But other parts of the country are prone to huge temperature fluctuations.
After a couple of days in the 70s (that’s above 21C for the non-Americans) the weather in North Carolina has turned cold and crisp. Along with the cooler weather comes the seasonal warning for increased norovirus illnesses.
Noroviruses haven’t always been called noroviruses. In 1929 Dr. John Zahorsky wrote about children developing sporadic cases of vomiting, supplemented by watery diarrhea each year between November and May – and over 30 years of clinical practice, he coined the term winter vomiting sickness. According to a 1950 Time Magazine article, Dr. Zahorsky was a pediatrician working extolling the vitures of good sanitation during birth and infant care – one of the fathers of disease prevention.
In 1968, one of these winter vomiting sickness outbreaks occurred in an elementary school in Norwalk, OH. Teachers and students were both affected, with 32% of the primary cases spreading illness to others in their families and homes. After a collaborative investigation with researchers from NIH and Walter-Reed Army medical center a causative agent was found in the feces of the ill — a 27nm sized virus particle. Zahorsky’s illnesses then took on the name Norwalk. Since then, the name has morphed to Norwalk and Norwalk-like viruses, which begat noroviruses.
As the weather turns cold, noro in the population emerges and becomes somewhat more stable in the environment. According to the Raleigh News and Observer lots of folks in North Carolina are getting sick.
With two outbreaks in North Carolina last week now confirmed as norovirus, the season for the hard-to-fight intestinal illness has begun, say state health officials.
The state Department of Health and Human Services is tracking 29 cases so far in Henderson and another six in Alamance County, said Ricky Diaz, a department spokesman.
The banquet was attended by 273 people at the Edinburgh USA Golf Course clubhouse restaurant. Jeff Ferguson, football coach at the private Roman Catholic school in Fridley, said at least 41 adults and 34 students fell ill. “I think it was food poisoning. They got sick over a period of two days,” he said.
State health officials suspect that the illnesses were caused by norovirus because of the victims’ symptoms, which included vomiting and diarrhea, Health Department spokesman Doug Schultz said Thursday.
Twitterers are desperately fond of keeping everyone fully informed of all their bodily functions. They create helpful hashtags like #barf, #puke and #retch.
The FSA’s social media manager, James Baker, told the Guardian: “We found that the changes in the number of tweets using symptom keywords predicted the increase in lab reports at the start of the annual peak in human cases.”
Indeed, graphic Twitter descriptions of stool hue and vomit shade might give the authorities as much as a four-week headstart in dealing with the virus’ spread.
One family, surnamed Zhang, had reportedly noticed that the biscuits had been expired for four days and reported them to a crew member, who agreed to replace hers but not to alert the other passengers. About half an hour later, a bout of diarrhea and vomiting swept through the cabin, affecting at least 30 people, who formed massive queues in front of the lavatories.
Fifteen people took ill in a possible case of food poisoning during a trans-Atlantic flight Wednesday, officials told ABC News.
Inspectors with the local health department and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention met Delta Flight 72 as it arrived at Kennedy International Airport in New York around 5 p.m., airport officials said. The flight originated in Istanbul, Turkey.
“They had stomach cramps and were vomiting,” said one source.
The stricken passengers were interviewed and declined offers to be transported to a hospital for further treatment.
Yahoo! Sports reports that Cliff Thompson is 2-0 in UFC, won his split decision over Doug Usher, but will still be remembered as the guy who puked before he could say a word in his post-fight interview.
Taxi companies in the southwestern Ontario city have been complaining about an increase in intoxicated passengers on Friday and Saturday nights.
A taxi industry representative recently told council that vomit and other body fluids must be dealt with as a bio hazard and the affected cab must be taken off the road until it is professionally cleaned.
That costs about $120.
The city plans to consult with its solicitor, police and bylaw enforcement officials before coming up with a report on how to deal with the issue.
Solano et al. report in Food Control that an outbreak of acute gastroenteritis due to staphylococcal food poisoning occurred in July 2011 at a summer school held by a sports club in Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain). Of the 42 cases involved, 20 were hospitalised. To identify the outbreak source, a retrospective cohort study was performed on the group at risk, which included 73 summer school students and 18 staff members. Food exposure at the sports club restaurant was identified as the most relevant common link among the study cohort.
Although the preliminary microbiological investigation suggested that enterotoxigenic Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) infections were the possible source, enterotoxin types A and D were identified, quantified and confirmed in the different biological samples collected. A descriptive, in-depth epidemiological and clinical investigation subsequently pointed to food intoxication rather than bacterial infection as being the cause of the outbreak. Molecular investigation of the strain isolates, using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis typing, revealed that all eight strains of S. aureus had the same profile and spa type (t008).
Samples of the incriminated foods, i.e., boiled macaroni, tuna and fresh tomatoes, specimens of vomit of those affected, and bilateral fingernail scrapings and nasal swabs of food handlers were shown to be the common source of transmission of the contamination. Following the outbreak, appropriate hygiene and control measures could be implemented to prevent any recurrence.