91 now sick from Norovirus suspected at UK pirate ship lake

A Norovirus outbreak saw a Devon holiday park temporarily close.

BTSKeithandJohnnyAWESeveral holidaymakers fell ill with suspected norovirus in the last fortnight. 

River Dart Country Park, in Ashburton, said that 91 cases of sickness and diarrhea had been reported by visitors to the outdoor activity resort since Friday, August 8.

Following an announcement that water tests were taking place, the park manager closed the site to allow “further investigation”. 

It was due to open today.

On Tuesday, managing director Mark Simpson issued a statement on the park’s website announcing he had made a decision to close the site after a discussion with the Environmental Health Agency and PHE.

Over 1000 sick from Norovirus at four Finland beaches

The City of Tampere has announced on its web-page that its officials have removed the signs advising people against swimming in the four lakes linked to a recent outbreak of a stomach virus – Tohloppijärvi, Tesomajärvi, Suolijärvi and Kaukajärvi.

norovirus.swimOverall, over one thousand people fell ill with a stomach bug in Tampere. The city also revealed on Tuesday that traces of norovirus were found in the majority of stool samples taken from the affected swimmers.

40 sick, Norovirus suspected at UK pirate ship lake

Public Health officials have confirmed that they suspect Norovirus is the cause of an outbreak of sickness at the River Dart Country Park.

hookmain630Over the weekend more than 40 cases were reported at the holiday park near Ashburton after holidaymakers reported similar symptoms of sickness and diarrhoea.

The pirate ship lake at the holiday park near Ashburton has been drained and closed while the source of the sickness bug is investigated.

The owners of the holiday park confirmed that 40 cases had been reported by Saturday, with five more on Sunday and one on Monday.

Samples and specimens were passed to South Hams District Council Environmental Health department. Results of tests are expected in two days’ time.

Cryptosporidium confirmed at Florida water park

The Pinellas County Department of Health has notified the City of Tarpon Springs that they have received three confirmed cases of cryptosporidium in which the patients had been at the Tarpon Springs Splash Park during the incubation period.

doug.ben_.family-300x225All three patients attended the park during the fourth week of July.

The City completely replaced and treated the water and all associated water systems at the Splash Park on Aug. 1. In an abundance of caution, the park will be closed Thursday and Friday while this process is repeated.

The City says it anticipates the park will reopen on Saturday, Aug. 9 at 10 a.m.

58 sick: Cryptosporidium outbreak in Florida

I do miss our trips to Florida, but not the 24-hour drives, and Brisbane is like the Tampa of Australia, so it doesn’t suck.

doug.ben.familyUnless you get Cryptosproidium.

The Florida Health Department has issued a health alert for Pinellas County which includes St. Petersburg and Clearwater — after 58 cases of a parasitic illness have been reported.

Cryptosporidium is a parasite found in contaminated water, and can make people very sick. Symptoms include severe cramps, diarrhea and vomiting.

“It really has to do with coming in contact with contaminated fecal matter where this parasite lives,” said Maggie Hall from the FDOH in Pinellas County.

Cryptosporidium spreads easily in water. Half the cases have come from public pools and water parks in Pinellas, so the facilities were alerted. Northwest Pool shut down as a precaution and is being tested after a child who may have visited there came down with the illness.

200 sick: Lake in Washington suspected for Norovirus outbreak

A mysterious intestinal ailment that struck down about 200 people who swam in a Washington lake has pushed officials to shut down access to the lake.

Horseshoe_Lake_Exley_Falls_t470The swimmers who enjoyed a summer weekend at Horseshoe Lake have been reporting symptoms of nausea, cramps and diarrhea, officials said.

The officials suspect a norovirus may be the culprit but are awaiting test results.

In the meantime the popular Horseshoe Lake County Park swimming site has been closed to vacationers until further notice, they say, and warning signs have been posted on the lake shoreline.

“Although there is no laboratory confirmation of a specific virus or bacteria responsible for the illnesses at this time, Public Health and Kitsap County are issuing the temporary closure as a precautionary measure while they investigate and to protect the public and prevent any additional illnesses,” the county public health district said [pdf] in a statement.

The county park is apparently the only area on the lake affected so far, officials said.

100 sick: Norovirus outbreak linked to Eagle Island in Idaho

Patient samples from a recent outbreak of illness at Eagle Island State Park have tested positive for norovirus, the Central District Health Department said in a news release Wednesday afternoon.

Eagle Island State ParkMore than 100 cases of vomiting and diarrhea were reported to CDHD this Monday and Tuesday, prompting the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation to close the swimming area at Eagle Island. Park staff is working with CDHD and DEQ to lower lake levels and thoroughly disinfect impacted facilities.

The swimming areas at Eagle Island will remain closed for two weeks to allow for drainage and refill of the lake. All other areas at the park will remain open for recreational use.

Norovirus is the most common cause of sudden-onset vomiting and diarrhea, CDHD reports.

Does E. coli persist in strawberry fields (not forever)

Irrigation water quality is one of those nagging issues for on-farm food safety and fresh produce: it’s difficult to model how persistent E. coli is and just how much of a threat is present. Or as my farmer friends say, if I’m going to lose the crop, I’m going to irrigate.

beatles-strawberry-fields-foreverA two-year field experiment was conducted in order to evaluate the persistence of generic Escherichia coli in strawberry after irrigation with naturally E. coli-contaminated surface water. Sixteen experimental plots representing actual field conditions were set, including two methods of irrigation (overhead and subsurface drip) and two mulch types (straw and plastic). Two irrigations were performed each year with water having an E. coli content varying between 460 and 2242 CFU per 100 ml. Strawberries were harvested before irrigation and 1, 4 and 24 h following irrigation. E. coli counts could not be determined in any of the 256 strawberry samples. Enrichment procedure revealed more positive samples under straw mulch (6.4%) compared to plastic mulch (4.3%), but this difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.3991). Higher strawberry contamination was also observed in overhead irrigation treatments (8.6%) compared to drip irrigation (2.1%) (P = 0.0674). The risk to detect E. coli in overhead-irrigated strawberries was 4.5-fold higher than in strawberries under drip irrigation. Four hours following irrigation, the risk to detect E. coli in fruits was 4.0-fold lower than the risk observed 1 h after irrigation. Increasing the delay to 24 h led to a 7.4-fold lower risk. In actual conditions that may be encountered in strawberry productions, this study showed a limited persistence of E. coli in strawberries following irrigation.

Persistence of Escherichia coli following irrigation of strawberry grown under four production systems: Field experiment

ScienceDirect

Mylene Genereux, Michele Grenier, Caroline Cote

Food Control, Volume 47, January 2015, Pages 103–107, DOI: 10.1016/j.foodcont.2014.06.037

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0956713514003661

Hundreds of faulty septic systems identified in Wainfleet

I once owned a cottage in Wainfleet, Ontario (that’s in Canada).

I had helped set up the alternative University of Guelph student newspaper, The Peak, and then went off to be the editor of the Port Colborne News in 1988.

madelynn.1988I owned the place for two months but made enough in flipping to cover real estate fees and broke even.

All I really remember about Wainfleet was one night on Lake Erie, with some friends and fungal hallucinogens, and, separately, this fab pic of my eldest, Madelynn, who is now 27 and has her own kid.

Unfortunately, those same houses where I once lived have been under a boil water advisory since 2006, after studies found widespread contamination of private wells with E. coli bacteria, coliform bacteria and nitrates.

The first thing I did when I bought the cottage back in 1989 was install a chlorine drip for the well water.

The Region spent millions of dollars on plans to hook up Wainfleet to water and sewer plants it operates under the so-called ‘big pipe’ plan. Wainfleet is the only local Niagara municipality that the Region doesn’t supply drinking water to.

But the Township of Wainfleet repealed its support for the big pipe plan in 2011, opting instead to embark on a what township mayor April Jeffs told regional council is a “find, repair and replace” plan to fix or replace faulty septic systems.

The province handed responsibility for overseeing smaller, private septic systems to local towns and cities in 1997. Wainfleet is one of three local municipalities in Niagara that haven’t contracted the Region to take care of that for them.

Visual, non-invasive inspections by a consultant hired by the township have found 203 of 1,126 private septic systems needing work or replacement, said Jeffs. About 45 property owners have already come forward for permits to do that work, she said.

Previous research by the Region has shown leaking septic systems can contribute to large ‘plumes’ of sewage going from property to property underground.

St. Catharines Coun. Tim Rigby said leaking septic systems could be leaching E. coli into Lake Erie, eventually reaching beaches and wells in north Niagara.

St. Catharines Mayor Brian McMullan called it disturbing to think of failing septic systems underground leaking dangerous contaminants.

 “That’s very disturbing to know that daily…hundreds of septic systems are leaching every minute and every hour into the aquifer and possibly into Lake Erie,” he said. 

Child dies from digestive infection at French camp

An 8-year-old child died at a camp in Ariège from “acute intestinal infection,” probably due to the ingestion of non-potable water.

Ariège .campThe center has closed until further notice, pending the results of analyzes of food served at holiday center and its water. The story notes camp water was contaminated since early July by coliform bacteria and leaders of the colony were instructed to drink only bottled water.

Three other children, who had been hospitalized for similar but less severe symptoms, were discharged from the hospital Thursday and joined the colony.

One hundred and forty children were staying in the cottage at the time of the tragedy, from four different groups – Villeneuve-le-Roi, Paris, Aubergenville (Yvelines) and La Ciotat (Bouches-du-Rhône). A group of children of employees of Airbus in Toulouse, staying in a nearby cottage, had no problems.