Barreled water or bottled water? Over 400 cases of noro linked to Chinese schools

According to CRI English, there’s a whole lot of noro going through Chinese schools. Over 400 students attending schools in Haning City and Haiyan County have come down ill with the gastrointestinal virus and investigators believe it is linked to water. A few weeks ago Japan dealt with its own massive school-linked norovirus outbreak that was eventually traced to bread.

Classes will be suspended on Thursday and Friday but are expected to resume on Monday.woode0barrel

The outbreak began on Feb. 11 in Haining and Feb. 13 in Haiyan.
It is suspected that the outbreak was caused by barrelled water. All the affected schools have been using barrelled water with the same brand, said Yang Jing, head of the provincial health and family planning commission.

A further epidemiological investigation is under way, said Yang.

Governments have ordered all the schools to disinfect canteens, classrooms, dormitories and toilets.

Water? We don’t need no stinkin’ water, we’ve got gloves; Subway in Maryland

Russ Ptacek of WUSA CBS Channel 9 reports that armed guards at Beltway Plaza Mall prevented our camera crew from recording video of restaurants cited and closed for operating without running water, but a producer managed to take iPhone photos before STINKINGBADGES-1ebeing escorted out.

In Greenbelt, citing operating without running water during a water main break, health inspectors temporarily closed: Subway, Beltway Plaza Mall, 6000 Greenbelt Road; Three Brothers, Beltway Plaza Mall, 6000 Greenbelt Road; Kalpena Dip-N-Depot, Beltway Plaza Mall, 6000 Greenbelt Road; and Heaven Bakery, Beltway Plaza Mall, 6000 Greenbelt Road.

All the restaurants passed re-inspection and are back in business.

At the Beltway Plaza Mall Subway, a manager told us he didn’t believe operating during the water outage was a problem because workers wear gloves.

Health experts say contaminated hands can contaminate clean gloves and workers should wash hands every time they change tasks, especially after using the restroom.

Dutch food safety inspectors enforce meat and water regulations

A professor once told this nubile food science graduate student that it was all about adding water and salt to protein and charging more.

FunkyChickenHiHe was right.

The Dutch food safety authority NNWA has made ‘several enforcement visits’ to Dutch factories where meat is tumbled with water to increase its weight in recent months, the Guardian newspaper reported on Saturday.

The aim of the visits was to stop the practice of adding water to imported chicken destined for resale as raw meat, the paper said. The NVWA told the paper chicken produced in this way is illegal.

24 sick: crypto outbreak in Wisconsin linked to ‘recreation water’

Four new North Shore cases bring the total number of confirmed Crypto illnesses in Whitefish Bay, Fox Point and Bayside to 12, in addition to 12 probable cases in which symptoms subsided before they were diagnosed.

Jamie Berg of the North Shore Health Department said the investigation has been definitively narrowed to a pool, lake or river. None of the illnesses has required caddyshack.pool.poop-1hospitalization.

Several area pools have closed as a precautionary measure.

3000 sick; norovirus in Chilean water supply

The city of Ovalle in Chile’s Coquimbo region suffered a massive outbreak of norovirus in the first week of September, infecting 3,000-plus residents, due to insufficient chlorine levels in the norovirus-2potable water supplied by water utility Aguas del Valle, according to a release by the regional health authority Seremi.

“What happened is that 24, 36 and 48 hours before the outbreak on September 3 there was a drop in chlorine levels and the water was contaminated by norovirus from the Limarí river… which is why we are carrying out a report into the role of the sanitation company,” said Seremi head Osvaldo Iribarren.

The authority said that the result of the report will be passed to the public prosecutors office in compliance with article 315 of the penal code.

Aguas del Valle, for its part, said the health authority’s chlorine measurements are “not trustworthy” as its methods “did not comply with industry protocol” and the tools used were “totally obsolete.”

The water utility maintains that chlorine in the water supply and at its plant has been above stipulated levels, and that there is no evidence implicating the firm in the norovirus outbreak.

Crypto problems around the globe

Both Amy and I are terrible swimmers so being in Australia, we take Sorenne to swimming lessons at a heated outdoor pool in Brisbane on Monday mornings and Friday afternoons.

Last week, they asked all the kids to go to the one end of the pool, while one of the instructors brought out a net-thingy to clean the water. Being interested in vomit protocol, I asked him what was going on. He said kids, including mine, tend to drink the pool, andcourtlynn.dp.swimsometimes they regurgitate if they take in too much water. It wasn’t vomit so much as water coming back up, and the chlorine would take care of it.

OK.

But what about those babies and their poop? He said we then shut down and take additional precautions.

OK.

This place is great, with the attention to the kids and dealing with obnoxious parents (as any coach has too). But lots of other pools still have problems with poop. And cryptosporidium.

In Iowa, there are now 703 cases of cryptosporidium, which is believed linked to pools, but proof has been lacking.

In New Zealand, a Canterbury swimming pool has been closed after a cryptosporidium outbreak that has sickened at least nine.

In Canada, at least nine are sick with crypto linked to a pool near Regina, Sask.

Live free or die: maybe New Hampshire can do better against Hepatitis A, noro

Last month, two employees at the Contoocook Covered Bridge Restaurant in New Hampshire contracted hepatitis A within about two weeks of each other. Their diagnoses prompted public warnings from the state and more than 1,000 vaccinations administered to those caddyshack.pool.poop-1who had recently been to the restaurant or the American Legion in Contoocook.

Although the kitchen passed every inspection before and after the hepatitis A cases in its workers, manager Jeremy Frost said business has plunged and shows no sign of recovery.

“It’s dropped down dramatically,” Frost said. “Overall if you average together, it’s 50 percent that we’re down.”

Restaurant owner Donna Walter said, “We have to say something so surrounding people know we are still a safe place.”

People will know you are a safe place when you publicly promote your food safety standards, and look into Hepatitis A vaccines for all employees.

And in a typical case of blame-the-person, after at least 21 folks got sick with norovirus at Pawtuckaway State Park in NH, officials said “swimming and camping at the park is safe as long as people practice good hygiene.”

Fairytale.

Did mountain goats cause cryptosporidium outbreak in Oregon drinking water?

Dr. Bill Keene has cracked some novel outbreaks: deer poop on strawberries, norovirus on baby changing tables, salmonella in Guatemalan canteloupe.

Now, the senior state epidemiologist with the Oregon Health Division, is asking, were mountain goats the source of a cryptosporidium outbreak in Baker City, Oregon, that sickened at least 14 people and potentially hundreds?

The Baker City Herald reports that most of the confirmed crypto cases in the U.S. over the past 20 years — there were 7,656 confirmed or probable cases in 2009, and 8,951 in 2010 — were linked to sources such as swimming pools and daycare centers, Mountain Goat nanny and kidsnot municipal drinking water, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For example, an outbreak of crypto that sickened at least 18 in Hull, UK, earlier this month was linked to a childrens’ splash pool.

If another theory about the Baker City outbreak pans out — that the crypto source was feces from mountain goats that live near Goodrich Reservoir — that would be the first such case in crypto annals, at least in the U.S., Keene said.

“I’m pretty sure mountain goats have never been tested (for crypto),” Keene said.

(Cougars or feral cat poop that entered drinking water are believed to have been the source of a toxoplasmosis outbreak in Victoria, B.C. in 1995 that sickened at least 110 and upwards of 3,000.)

Keene said crypto “has been around forever,” and that small numbers of oocysts likely are present in most surface water.

But given the rarity of outbreaks caused by municipal water supplies — including ones, like Baker City’s, that use unfiltered surface water — it seems that Baker City’s ordeal could be “the exception proving the rule,” he said.

Although federal statistics show a sharp increase in crypto cases starting in the 1980s, Keene said that trend likely reflects more widespread testing rather than an actual spread in crypto.

Until the 1980s crypto tests were rare, and they required a high level of expertise.

What brought the bug into the mainstream, so to speak, was the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s. Because AIDS patients have severely compromised immune systems they are especially vulnerable to crypto.

“People were dying from this,” Keene said.

Today, crypto tests are easier and more effective, and doctors and other officials are much more likely to suspect crypto than they used to be, he said.

Speaking of tests, Keene said the “official” count of 14 crypto cases in Baker City certainly doesn’t reflect the total number of infections.

That’s almost always the case in outbreaks, he said, because with otherwise healthy people the infection usually doesn’t cause symptoms that require medical attention, so relatively few people ever have stool samples tested.

Keene, who was in Baker City for several days before returning to his Portland office on Monday afternoon, said he and colleagues visited 21 Baker City homes and talked with 62 residents.

Of those, 18 had had symptoms consistent with crypto, Keene said — 29 percent of the total.

Keene said he wouldn’t conclude from that small sample size that one-third of residents were infected — that would be almost 3,000 people — but he said the total cases “could easily be in the hundreds.”

Don’t swim in shit; sick people in UK and NZ

A number of teenagers have fallen ill after a skate park was transformed into a makeshift pool filled with river water.

Crowds of young people flocked to the skate park in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, when word spread that it had somehow been filled with water diaperfrom the nearby River Calder to cool off.

Pictures show at least 20 young people swimming in the dirty, brown water during the recent heatwave.

But the decision backfired when several have since fallen ill and are believed to be suffering from sickness and diarrhea.

In New Zealand, Taranaki has seen at least 24 cases of cryptosporidium since the start of year compared with none for the same period last year.

Dr Jonathan Jarman said, “Some of the cases were children but half were adults, and similar outbreaks have also been seen in other parts of New Zealand … some cases in Taranaki became unwell after recently swimming in a pool.” 

Poop, water and illness

A dozen people – mainly kids — got sick after exposure to raw sewage at a splash pad in Traverse City, Mich., an 8-year-old with cryptosporidium had a dump in a Philadelphia pool that forced its closure July 4, at least 90 people were sickened with Shigella after poop-in-poolswimming at Burrillville’s Spring Lake Beach in Rhode Island, and the municipality of Östersund in northern Sweden has been charged for environmental crimes following an outbreak of cryptosporidium which sickened some 30,000 people in the winter of 2010.

In Sweden, prosecutor Lars Magnusson said, “It concerns the fact that they failed to deliver drinking water free from parasites, and this is something that they are required to do under the drinking water regulations.”

The city established the source of the infection in late 2010, tracing the outbreak to a residential building in the Odensala area of the city. It was found that a sewage pipe had been erroneously connected to a rain water pipe.

Östersund has meanwhile disputed the charges, claiming that it had sufficient checks in place.

In Michigan, city workers discovered June 30 at mid-morning that sewage backed up when a pump station failed and pushed raw caddyshack.pool.poop-1sewage into an underground reservoir that feeds sprinklers for the splash pad, rain arc, and mister.

In Rhode Island, beach manager Cheri Hall rolled out the standard of risk communication bullshit, saying, “We’ve never had a problem. I’ve been manager for 22 years and all of our samples always come back good.”