The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) urged proper maintenance of bird feeders could help prevent disease transmission, particularly in these late winter months when songbirds are especially vulnerable.
New Yorkers can help curtail the spread of disease in songbirds by emptying and cleaning feeders and birdbaths with hot soapy water at least every two weeks. It is also a good idea to soak feeders in a dilute 10 percent bleach solution and allow them to dry before re-hanging them. Waste seed on the ground beneath feeders should be cleaned up and discarded. Spreading feeders out and relocating feeders periodically can also limit the build-up of waste. Practice good hygiene when cleaning feeders and birdbaths by wearing gloves to handle seed waste and washing hands after performing maintenance.
Salmonellosis or “Songbird Fever” is among the most common diseases associated with bird feeders. Outbreaks can affect many bird species including cardinals, goldfinches, sparrows, cowbirds and pine siskins. The bacteria can be shed in the bird’s feces even when the bird appears healthy. Salmonellosis can spread through contact with infected birds, contaminated seed, seed waste on the ground or water in birdbaths. It is important to note that salmonellosis is a zoonotic disease and can be spread to both people and domestic animals.
Public health experts report there have been at least four cases of Salmonella associated with bearded dragons in Britain in the last eight months.
Children are particularly at risk because they like to stroke and handle pet reptiles.
Bearded dragons have become popular as pets but their feces can contain Salmonella.
Owners of bearded dragons and other reptiles are advised to wash their hands thoroughly after handling them and clean down any surfaces, which they may have been in contact with.
A new strain of the Norovirus stomach bug was responsible for sickening nearly 700 people on a luxury cruise ship, it has been revealed.
Now, scientists have discovered a new Sydney strain of Norovirus was to blame for the outbreak. The Sydney strain, which emerged within about the last two years, is not considered unusually dangerous.
However, it has quickly become a common cause of vomiting and diarrhea, with symptoms lasting several days.
The highly contagious stomach bug, once known as Norwalk virus, can be picked up from an infected person, contaminated food or water or by touching contaminated surfaces. It can also be airborne.
The Guardian reports that Heston Blumenthal has temporarily closed his London restaurant Dinner after a suspected outbreak of the same winter vomiting virus that was linked to contamination at another of his restaurants five years ago.
The chef said he was erring on “the side of extreme caution” by shutting the establishment in the Mandarin Oriental hotel overlooking Hyde Park after a number of guests fell ill.
Dinner specializes in historic British dishes and has two Michelin stars. It has also been rated in the world’s top 10 restaurants. Food safety officers have told staff to wash their hands more often.
Blumenthal’s Fat Duck restaurant, in Bray, Berkshire, was hit by an outbreak involving at least 240 people in 2009. It was later said to be the worst norovirus contamination at a restaurant.
Norovirus (previously called “Norwalk-like virus” or NLV) is a member of the family Caliciviridae. The name derives from the Latin for chalice—calyx—meaning cup-like, and refers to the indentations of the virus surface. The family of Caliciviridae consists of several distinct groups of viruses that were first named after the places where outbreaks occurred. The first of these outbreaks occurred in 1968 among schoolchildren in Norwalk, Ohio. The prototype strain was identified four years later, in 1972, and was the first virus identified that specifically caused gastroenteritis in humans. Other discoveries followed, with each strain name based on the location of its discovery—e.g., Montgomery County, Snow Mountain, Mexico, Hawaii, Parmatta, Taunton, and Toronto viruses. A study published in 1977 found that the Toronto virus was the second most common cause of gastroenteritis in children. Eventually this confusing nomenclature was resolved, first in favor of calling each of the strains a Norwalk-like virus, and then simply, a norovirus – the term used today.
The South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA) is reporting listeria in a sampling of bottled raw (unpasteurized) milk from Jerseydale Farms near Brookings, S.D.
The South Dakota Department of Agriculture advises consumers that bottled raw milk recently purchased from this business may contain harmful bacteria that can lead to listeria infection.
According to the South Dakota Department of Health, listeria can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people and individuals with weakened immune systems. Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women. A person with listeriosis may have fever, muscle aches and sometimes nausea or diarrhea. If infection spreads to the nervous system, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance or convulsions can occur.
For more information on listeria, please visit http://doh.sd.gov/diseases/infectious/diseasefacts/Listeriosis.aspx.
The contaminated bottled raw milk was sold in the Brookings County area. If you have purchased this bottled raw milk, SDDA advises the product be discarded or returned.
State bottled raw milk rules require permits for dairies selling raw milk directly to consumers. Inspections are required at least annually depending on grade of milk; dairies must also submit samples monthly for bacteria and residue testing.
To find more information on SDDA’s inspections, rules and laws for raw milk production, visit http://sdda.sd.gov/farming-ranching-agribusiness/dairy-dairy-plants/.
Listeria: Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Listeria outbreaks. The Listeria lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Listeria and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $600 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation. Our Listeria lawyers have litigated Listeria cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as cantaloupe, cheese, celery and milk. Marler Clark is presently representing 46 victims and their families in the 2011 Jensen Farms Listeria cantaloupe outbreak.
If you or a family member became ill with a Listeria infection after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Listeria attorneys for a free case evaluation.
Bloomberg reports that Germany found a case of mad cow disease in a slaughtered bovine, the country’s first case since 2009, according to an alert to the World Organization for Animal Health, or OIE.
The 10-year-old cow, which did not show any clinical signs of the disease, was destroyed, Germany’s Food & Agriculture Ministry wrote in a notification to the Paris-based OIE dated yesterday. The animal didn’t enter the human food chain, according to the notice.
Mad cow disease, officially called bovine spongiform encephalopathy, can cause a human form known as variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The rare and fatal neurological condition is linked to the consumption of meat from sick cattle.
According Taiwanese press reports, Taiwan is to allow bone-in beef products from cattle under 30 months of age to be imported from Canada as soon as next month, but cattle skulls, eyes, brains, spinal cords and ground meat remain banned to minimize the risks of bovine spongiform encephalopathy — also known as mad cow disease — the Taiwan Ministry of Economic Affairs said.
As of January 13, 2014, a total of 9 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Heidelberg have been reported from Tennessee.
Two (22%) of 9 ill persons have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported.
All of the ill persons were incarcerated at a single correctional facility located in Tennessee.
Epidemiologic and traceback investigations conducted by Tennessee and federal officials indicate that consumption of Tyson brand mechanically separated chicken is the likely source of the outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg infections at the Tennessee correctional facility.
On January 10, 2014, Tyson Foods, Inc. recalled approximated 33,840 pounds of mechanically separated chicken products that may be contaminated with Salmonella Heidelberg.
Tyson Foods, Inc. a Sedalia, Mo., establishment, is recalling approximately 33,840 pounds of mechanically separated chicken products that may be contaminated with a Salmonella Heidelberg strain, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.
The mechanically separated chicken products were produced on Oct. 11, 2013. The following products are subject to recall:
40-lb. cases, containing four, 10-lb. chubs of “TYSON MECHANICALLY SEPARATED CHICKEN.”
The products subject to recall bear the establishment number “P-13556” inside the USDA mark of inspection with case code 2843SDL1412 – 18. These products were shipped for institutional use only, nationwide. The product is not available for consumer purchase in retail stores.
FSIS was notified of a Salmonella Heidelberg cluster of illnesses on Dec. 12, 2013. Working in conjunction with the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH), FSIS determined that there is a link between the mechanically separated chicken products from Tyson Foods and the illness cluster in a Tennessee correctional facility. Based on epidemiological and traceback investigations, seven case-patients at the facility have been identified with illnesses, with two resulting in hospitalization. Illness onset dates range from Nov. 29, 2013 to Dec. 5, 2013. FSIS continues to work with TDH on this investigation and will provide updated information as it becomes available.
Consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella can cause salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses. The most common symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating the contaminated product. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days. Most people recover without treatment. In some persons, however, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Older adults, infants, and persons with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop a severe illness. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact their health care provider.
BMC Veterinary Research 2013, 9:266
Indira T Kudva and Judith A Stasko
Escherichia coli O157 (E. coli O157) has been isolated from bison retail meat, a fact that is important given that bison meat has been implicated in an E. coli O157-multistate outbreak. In addition, E. coli O157 has also been isolated from bison feces at slaughter and on farms. Cattle are well documented as E. coli O157 reservoirs, and the primary site of E. coli O157 persistence in such reservoirs is the rectoanal junction (RAJ), located at the distal end of the bovine gastrointestinal tract. Since bison and cattle share many genetic similarities manifested as common lineage, susceptibility to infection and the nature of immune responses to infectious agents, we decided to evaluate whether the RAJ of these animals were comparable both in terms of cellular architecture and as sites for adherence of E. coli O157. Specifically, we compared the histo-morphologies of the RAJ and evaluated the E. coli O157 adherence characteristics to the RAJ squamous epithelial (RSE) cells, from these two species.
We found that the RAJ of both bison and cattle demonstrated similar distribution of epithelial cell markers villin, vimentin, cytokeratin, E-cadherin and N-cadherin. Interestingly, N-cadherin predominated in the stratified squamous epithelium reflecting its proliferative nature. E. coli O157 strains 86-24 SmR and EDL 933 adhered to RSE cells from both animals with similar diffuse and aggregative patterns, respectively.
Our observations further support the fact that bison are likely ‘wildlife’ reservoirs for E. coli O157, harboring these bacteria in their gastrointestinal tract. Our results also extend the utility of the RSE-cell assay, previously developed to elucidate E. coli O157-cattle RAJ interactions, to studies in bison, which are warranted to determine whether these observations in vitro correlate with those occurring in vivo at the RAJ within the bison gastrointestinal tract.
WFMY News 2 reports that the Davidson County Health Department received two reports of E. coli at Tyro Middle School.
The source in these cases is also unknown at this time.
The Health Department describes e. coli as “the naturally occurring bacteria that normally lives in the intestines of people and animals.” Most forms are harmless, but certain types can be very infectious and can easily cause illness.
Symptoms of e.coli may include diarrhea, including bloody diarrhea, vomiting, severe abdominal cramps, and low-grade fever.
If your child or an adult in the family has these symptoms, the Health Department advises you to contact your medical provider, who may consider testing.
If you have any questions, you can contact the Davidson County Health Department at 336-236-3096.