63 sick: Wisconsin band students suffer ‘violent’ illness at Indy championship game

Dozens of University of Wisconsin-Madison band members suffered illnesses during Saturday’s Big Ten Championship football game in Indianapolis, a university spokeswoman said.

wisconsin-barf-bandUW-Madison media relations Director Meredith McGlone told News 3 that just before kickoff Saturday night, some members of the UW Marching Band began experiencing nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. As the game progressed, more members fell ill and were treated by onsite medical personnel. UW Band Director Mike Leckrone said most students started getting sick right before half time.

“Nobody had to run off the field, thankfully,” Leckrone said. “But there were a few that the moment they got off the field, they headed for the garbage can. They probably shouldn’t have gone on, they were feeling a little queasy. But it gets to be the call of the show time, and they wanted to perform.”

 

80 sick: Outbreak at Fort McMurray oilsands camps

An outbreak of gastro-intestinal illness has hit work camps near the Fort Hills oilsands site, 90 kilometres north of Fort McMurray, an Alberta Health Services spokesperson said Monday.

vomit-fbAHS Public Health is aware of the illness, Kerry Williamson said in an emailed statement. “It has not been confirmed as norovirus,” he added.

A Suncor spokesperson said about 80 people at Fort Hills have reported symptoms.

No flights to or from the camps have been cancelled, Suncor said. But workers showing symptoms are being asked not to board flights but to remain in their rooms.

Williamson said outbreaks of this type are not unusual at this time of year, particularly at sites where people are living and working in close quarters. 

He said inspectors visited the site Monday, and AHS Public Health provided information over the weekend, to help limit the spread of the illness.

It’s called barfblog: Valuable whale vomit found by fishers

I dunno what the safety concerns might be if waxy whale vomit, known as ambergris, is incorporated as a flavoring for food; the vomit is largely used to create musk fragrances for perfumes. According to Deccan Herald, 80kg of the vomit treasure, worth $2.5 million was found by Omani fishers.

Khalid Al Sinani, who is in his late 30s, found floating “whale vomit” on the shores of Qurayat province last week.513ee279059eb5f958e29ab3238c9fa2

‘Whale vomit’ or Ambergris is a very costly wax that originates as a secretion in the intestines of the sperm whale. It can be found floating in tropical seas and is used in manufacture of perfume.

After 20 years of hand-to-mouth life as a fisherman, Khalid’s childhood dream of winning the sea lottery came true on the morning of October 30 when he, along with two of his friends, saw a mass of ambergris floating on the sea, releasing a nasty smell.

“We used a rope to collect it and carry it inside the boat,” Khalid was quoted as saying by the Times of Oman.

“I was told earlier that ambergris has an icky smell, but after a couple of days it imparts a pleasant scent. We rushed back to the beach with joy and happiness,” he said.

After keeping his valuable harvest in a box, he called some experts to identify the material.

“After we made sure it was ambergris, we started cutting it in order to dry and sell it later,” Khalid said.

“I’ll wait to see how this sale will go and later I’ll think of changing my career and enter the real-estate sector to live a better life,” he said.

UK boy vomits on stranger’s handbag during flight – mum ordered to pay silly amount

I’d be a lousy surgeon.

I barf at the slightest provocation.

barfblog-tshirt-frontYet at other times I can completely keep it together.

Driving back from Florida, we were almost home and one of the kids barfed.

I lost it at the side of the road.

Yet another time, we flew back after a hurricane, and the kid lost it as we landed, I handled it like a pro, into the barf bag, off the plane and into the garbage.

Life is so uncertain..

Mumsnet user incognitoforonenight writes, “We were on a long haul flight and there was a lot of turbulence.”

“My son vomited everywhere halfway through flight. We cleared it all up. [An] hour later, the lady behind my seat says, ‘hope your son is OK, but he was sick and it’s on my handbag.'”

Naturally, both parents apologised to the lady. But it seems this wasn’t quite enough.

“She says, ‘no, it’s on my handbag, it’s very expensive and you need to get your insurance to pay for it to be repaired / cleaned.'”

The handbag in question was a Louis Vuitton worth £900.

The mum took photos of the bag, and added how the lady had in fact cleaned all the vomit off (which had pooled down to the floor). None remained on the bag. There was no visible damage.

However, the lady insisted “the smell was now ‘ingrained’ in the bag” and has since explained, via email, how Louis Vuitton cannot repair the bag – and the family are liable for a replacement.

Understandably, the mum has reservations.

“Surely, if you have a LV bag worth £900 you do not put it on the floor in an airplane, you’d put in the locker above your seat, especially if you are in an aisle seat

“We haven’t contacted our travel insurance yet, but thought I’d see what others thought. Should she have to contact her own travel insurance? I’m not sure what the ‘norm’ is in a situation like this.”

The responses have been overwhelmingly on the side of the mum.

Turkey holidaymakers hit with extreme vomiting at five-star resort leaving 11-week-old baby in hospital and man with kidney failure

Dozens of horrified holidaymakers have fallen seriously ill with a vomiting virus – that sounds more like Shiga toxin producing E. coli — after visiting a five-star holiday resort – including an 11-week old baby suffering severe dehydration and a man being hospitalised with kidney failure.

Overview

Overview

Over the past week The Sun has been inundated with calls from guests staying at the Liberty Lykia Hotel in Turkey throughout October claiming to have been affected by an “epidemic” sweeping the resort.

They’ve reported adults, kids and even babies projectile vomiting along pathways, in the swimming pool and in bushes – as well as many being unable to even leave their rooms after having been gripped by the sickness and diarrhoea bug.

Throughout October guests have been falling ill – but say staff at the hotel, and from Thomas Cook, have done nothing to stop it spreading and continue to deny there is a problem.

One guest, who arrived with another family on October 21 but have asked to remain anonymous, said her stepdaughter was “projectile vomiting” and suffering from diarrhoea within hours of getting to Turkey.

Within a few days four out of their group of six had been struck down with the bug.

The mum and others claim they were told they had to fork out 50 Euros to see the hotel doctor, or 100 Euros for the medic to visit them in their room.

She said: “They checked her pulse and said it was double what it should be and to call an ambulance for her straight away.

“They didn’t ask if we had insurance or an E111 or anything they just told us to bring our passports

“At the hospital they ran tests and put her on a drip, said she had a blood infection or something like gastroenteritis.

According to Thomas Cook it is “standard procedure” for customers to pay for a doctor’s visit and to claim the cost back through travel insurance.

Several families report having at least one family member being taken to hospital, while video footage shows young children being transported away by ambulance.

Puke and pee is gradually destroying the world’s tallest church

I first travelled to Germany in 1998 to give a talk.

My parents told me the Germans have no sense of humor, try to be Dr. Doug and not Doug.

german-church-peeI knew better.

The only response to my food safety one-liners was crickets.

In 2012 or so, I went to a U.S. military base in Germany, to give a talk about sprouts and the E. coli O104, and the 50 people dying and thousands sick and sourcing safe food and what could be done.

That sounds fairly terrible.

Yet all I really remember is that when I got off the train, I had to pee.

I’m getting older, urinary function is becoming more of a priority.

There were no public bathrooms, it cost money to piss anywhere inside, and the locals said, just piss wherever you want, no one cares.

(And don’t think you can just crawl under those toilet doors; they have reinforced steel, barriers down to the base, all so someone has to pay a buck – and I didn’t have any German currency and thought it would be rude to piss in the sink.

So I did it outside.

According to River Donaghey of Vice, a seemingly endless stream of drunk people’s urine is eroding the stone foundation of the world’s tallest church in the German city of Ulm, and no one quite knows how to stop it, CNN reports.

Late-night revelers already face a $109 fine if they’re caught emptying their bladders on the 531-foot-tall Ulm Minster church, but the monetary threat hasn’t thwarted drunken partiers drawn to the hulking piss-beacon.

The damage to the stone base of the church comes from the acids and salt in the pee, not to mention other bodily fluids drunk folks might leave behind, like puke.

“I’ve been keeping an eye on it for half a year now and, once again, it’s coated with urine and vomit,” the church’s head of maintenance, Michael Hilbert, told a local paper. “This is about preserving law and order.”

What law and order means in this case is probably just some Ulm city officials dishing out a few bucks for more public toilets or for city cops to up their ticketing. But the easiest solution may lie in the bottom of a few five-gallon buckets of that pee-proof paint.

BTW, Australia has the best public facilities I’ve ever seen.

It’s a f***ing island, of course they have to keep it clean.

Celebrity barf: Ryan McCartan spent Halloween in hospital

Ryan McCartan of Minnetonka High School in Minnetonka, Minnesota, who plays Diggie on the Disney Channel sitcom Liv and Maddie, spent Halloween in hospital with food poisoning.

ryan-mccartanRyan posted an Instagram picture of himself in the hospital, hooked up to an IV and looking pretty miserable. He’s doing better now, but Ryan wrote he landed in the hospital because of food poisoning, dehydration and diabetes-related complications. Yikes!

“This is how I spent my Halloween after a series of food-poisoning, dehydration and diabetes-related complications… Life is precious but fragile, and boy did I get that reminder!” Ryan wrote under his picture.

Mircobiologically speaking: Should you make out with your dog?

“You sleep with your dog? That’s microbiologically sorta gross.”

miley-cyrus-kissing-dogThat was the first thing I said to Dr. Amy Hubbell, during a seminar in 2005, and I had no idea who she was.

I also told her organic food was not safer – and probably less safer – than conventional food, and that all that French food was overpriced shit.

Or something like that.

Whether or not such practices are microbiologically gross enters into the domain of how to analyze risk, and how to provide advice. Chapman, Schaffner and I always say variations on the same thing: we ain’t your pastors, you decide what’s right, but here’s some info and you decide.

Christopher Mele of The New York Times writes: beware of too much dog kissing.

Especially if your dog likes to eat poop (coprophagia).

You kiss your mother with that mouth?

Dr. Neilanjan Nandi, an assistant professor of medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, said in an email that most animals’ mouths are host to “an enormous oral microbiome of bacteria, viruses and yeast.”

Dr. Nandi says a dog’s saliva has proteins that may help cleanse or heal its own wounds, but in a paragraph titled “Why Not to Make Out With Your Pet,” he noted, “There are some organisms unique to dogs that we were simply not meant to tolerate or combat.”

Some bacteria in dogs’ mouths are zoonotic, meaning the animals can pass them to humans and cause disease.

Some common zoonotic bacteria include clostridium, E. coli, salmonella and campylobacter, which can cause severe gastrointestinal disease in humans, said Dr. Leni K. Kaplan, a lecturer of community practice service at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

mika1-004So I shouldn’t let my dog lick me at all?

Not entirely.

“When dog saliva touches intact human skin, especially in a healthy person, it is extremely unlikely to cause any problems, as there will be very little absorption through the skin,” Dr. Kaplan wrote in an email.

However, a dog’s saliva and pathogens can be absorbed more easily through the mucous membranes of a person’s nose, mouth and eyes. Though illnesses transmitted this way are rare, Dr. Kaplan said it was best to avoid having your dog lick those parts of your face.

John Oxford, a professor of virology at Queen Mary University of London and an expert in microbiology, said he would never let a dog lick his face, The Hippocratic Post reported.

“It is not just what is carried in saliva,” he said. “Dogs spend half of their life with their noses in nasty corners or hovering over dog droppings so their muzzles are full of bacteria, viruses and germs of all sorts.”

Other infections, such as hookworms and roundworms, can be transmitted in a practice called coprophagia, in which animals ingest one another’s stool or by licking each others’ anuses, Dr. Nandi said in an email.

Dr. Joe Kinnarney, the immediate past president of the American Veterinary Medical Association, said in an interview that one study calculated that a puppy could have as many as 20 million to 30 million roundworm eggs in its intestinal tract in one week. He said a client’s child at his practice in Greensboro, N.C., nearly lost an eye from a roundworm infection.

It is conceivable that a dog with fecal material in its mouth could transmit an intestinal parasite to a human through licking, but that is rare, Dr. Sarah Proctor, a clinical assistant professor and the director of the veterinary technology program at the University of New Hampshire, said in an email.

More commonly, a parasite can be contracted by ingesting contaminated soil — via a home garden, for example — where pets have left their droppings.

President Obama even touched on the subject in an interview with Wired magazine that was published in August:

“I still don’t let Sunny and Bo lick me, because when I walk them on the side lawn, some of the things I see them picking up and chewing on, I don’t want that, man,” Mr. Obama said, laughing.

Dr. Proctor says people should be aware that not all dogs want to be hugged or kissed.

“Most people do not pick up on a dog’s subtle body language that shows fear, stress or aggression,” she wrote. “Putting your face into a dog’s face and kissing it could lead to a bite on the face if you are not careful.”

Cats do not eat feces, and humans are therefore unlikely to become infected by parasites from them, according to the website petMD.

Cats’ mouths do harbor Pasteurella, which can cause infections of the skin and lymph node, and Bartonella henselae, a bacterium that can cause a severe skin and lymph node infection known as cat scratch fever, the website reported.

Most of those infections come from bites or scratches.

What precautions should I take?

Experts recommend:

  • Make sure your pet is current on all vaccines.
  • New pets should undergo deworming.
  • Keep your pets away from the feces of other animals.
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water.

Arden Moore, who hosts “Oh Behave,” a podcast on Pet Life Radio, said in an email that she welcomed the occasional kiss from her five dogs and one cat, and kisses the tops of their heads in return.

“Pets, just like people, crave attention and affection,” she said. “As long as I remain healthy and my pets stay healthy, I will take this ‘risk’ and accept their kisses.”

LSU student arrested after barfing on others during Ole Miss game

LSU student Renuka Koritala was arrested during LSU’s 38-21 win over Ole Miss on Saturday night after Baton Rouge Police Department officers attempted to escort her from the stadium because she allegedly vomited on other students.

renuka-koritalaKoritala ran from the officers when they initially tried to approach her and then kicked the officer attempting to escort her out of the stadium. The affidavit said that Koritala, 20, had to be carried out of the stands using a “fireman’s carry so that she would not harm herself.”

Police officers also found a clear medicine bottle containing marijuana and a marijuana smoking pipe on Koritala. The LSU student was charged with battery of a police officer, possession of marijuana, resisting an officer and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Barfing? Who ya gonna call: IowaSic

The Iowa Department of Public Health and the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals have set up a hotline for people who want to report foodborne illnesses.

iowa-sic-lineThe Iowa Public Health medical director, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk, says that once a call is made to the IowaSic hotline at 844-469-2742, trained specialists will begin an investigation. The specialists will ask a caller about the illness, symptoms, onset and duration, and also complete a history of all foods the caller has consumed in the past several days.