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Foodborne Illness Outbreaks

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CDC: Salmonella Papayas from Mexico – “When in doubt, don’t eat it; just throw it out”

As of August 9, 2017, 141 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Kiambu (51) or Salmonella Thompson (90) have been reported from 19 states. Connecticut 5, Delaware 4, Iowa 2, Illinois 2, Kentucky 3, Louisiana 2, Maryland 8, Massachusetts 6, Michigan 1, Minnesota 4, North Carolina 3, New Jersey 27, New York 39, Ohio 1, Oklahoma 4, Pennsylvania 8, Texas 7, Virginia 14, Wisconsin 1, Total 141

Illnesses started on dates ranging from May 17, 2017 to July 27, 2017. Ill people range in age from less than 1 year to 95, with a median age of 39. Among 136 ill people with available information, 83 (61%) are female. Among 98 people with available information, 66 (67%) are of Hispanic ethnicity. Among 103 people with available information, 45 (44%) have been hospitalized. One death was reported from New York City.

Illnesses that occurred after July 14, 2017, might not be reported yet due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of 2 to 4 weeks.

Based on information collected to date, CDC is now recommending that consumers not eat Maradol papayas from the Carica de Campeche farm in Mexico. If consumers aren’t sure if their Maradol papaya came from the Carica de Campeche farm, they should ask the place of purchase. When in doubt, don’t eat it; just throw it out. Restaurants and retailers should not serve or sell Maradol papayas from the Carica de Campeche farm.

As was reported in the last update on August 4, FDA tested other papayas imported from Mexico and isolated several types of Salmonella bacteria, including Salmonella Agona, Salmonella Kiambu, Salmonella Gaminara, Salmonella Thompson, and Salmonella Senftenberg. CDC is working to determine if there are any illnesses with these other types of Salmonella linked to this outbreak.

The FDA is advising consumers not to eat Maradol papayas from the Carica de Campeche farm in Mexico because they are linked to an outbreak of salmonellosis.

Three brands of Maradol papayas have been recalled: Caribeña brand, distributed by Grande Produce; certain Cavi brand papayas distributed by Agroson’s; and Valery brand papayas, distributed by Freshtex Produce, LLC. If anyone has these papayas in their home, they should dispose of them immediately.

The Cyclospora Parasite Sickens Hundreds in United States

According to Food Safety News, Federal health officials are asking health care providers across the country to be on the lookout for foodborne infections from the Cyclospora parasite because more than double the number of cases have already been confirmed this year and the peak season is not yet ended.

From May 1 through Aug. 2 this year in the United States there were 206 confirmed cases of cyclosporiasis, compared with 80 confirmed cases during that time period in 2016, according to an advisory posted Monday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Such advisories are relatively rare, with Monday’s being only the sixth from the CDC this year.

“At this time, no specific vehicle of interest has been identified, and investigations to identify a potential source of infection are ongoing. It is too early to say whether cases of Cyclospora infection in different states are related to each other and/or to the same food item(s),” according to the CDC advisory.

“Previous outbreaks in the United States have been linked to various types of imported fresh produce — e.g., basil, cilantro, mesclun lettuce, raspberries, and snow peas.”

The CDC advisory did not include a state-by-state breakdown of confirmed infections, but it did report that at least 18 people have required hospitalization. The 206 confirmed infections have been reported from 27 states, most of which have reported relatively few cases, CDC reported.

On Aug. 1 the Texas Department of State Health Services reported confirmed cases in the Lone Star state had more than doubled in the second half of July, increasing from 68 on July 17 to 160 as of Aug. 1.

The NYC Health Department reported on July 24 that it has been tracking an increase of Cyclospora parasite infections there. A total of 27 cases were reported between Jan. 1 – June 30, 2017, compared to 13 cases in 2016, and 21 cases in 2015 during the same time period,” the New York City department reported.

What is Cyclospora?

Cyclospora is a parasite composed of one cell, too small to be seen without a microscope. The organism was previously thought to be a blue-green alga or a large form of cryptosporidium. Cyclospora cayetanensis is the only species of this organism found in humans. The first known human cases of illness caused by cyclospora infection (that is, cyclosporiasis) were first discovered in 1977. An increase in the number of cases being reported began in the mid-1980s, in part due to the availability of better diagnostic techniques. Over 15,000 cases are estimated to occur in the United States each year. The first recorded Cyclospora outbreak in North America occurred in 1990 and was linked to contaminated water. Since then, several cyclosporiasis outbreaks have been reported in the U.S. and Canada, many associated with eating fresh fruits or vegetables. In some developing countries, cyclosporiasis is common among the population and travelers to those areas have become infected as well.  See, www.outbreakdatabase.com for past outbreaks related to Cyclospora cayetanensis.

Where does Cyclospora come from?

Cyclospora is spread when people ingest water or food contaminated with infected stool. For example, exposure to contaminated water among farm workers may have been the original source of the parasite in raspberry-associated outbreaks in North America.

Cyclospora needs time (one to several weeks) after being passed in a bowel movement to become infectious. Therefore, it is unlikely that Cyclospora is passed directly from one person to another. It is not known whether or not animals can be infected and pass infection to people.

What are the typical symptoms of Cyclospora infection?

Cyclospora infects the small intestine (bowel) and usually causes watery diarrhea, bloating, increased gas, stomach cramps, and loss of appetite, nausea, low-grade fever, and fatigue. In some cases, vomiting, explosive diarrhea, muscle aches, and substantial weight loss can occur. Some people who are infected with Cyclospora do not have any symptoms. Symptoms generally appear about a week after infection. If not treated, the illness may last from a few days up to six weeks. Symptoms may also recur one or more times. In addition, people who have previously been infected with Cyclospora can become infected again.

What are the serious and long-term risks of Cyclospora infection?

Cyclospora has been associated with a variety of chronic complications such as Guillain-Barre syndrome, reactive arthritis or Reiter’s syndrome, biliary disease, and acalculous cholecystitis. Since Cyclospora infections tend to respond to the appropriate treatment, complications are more likely to occur in individuals who are not treated or not treated promptly. Extraintestinal infection also appears to occur more commonly in individuals with a compromised immune system.

How is Cyclospora infection detected?

Your health care provider may ask you to submit stool specimen for analysis. Because testing for Cyclospora infection can be difficult, you may be asked to submit several stool specimens over several days. Identification of this parasite in stool requires special laboratory tests that are not routinely done. Therefore, your health care provider should specifically request testing for Cyclospora if it is suspected. Your health care provider might have your stool checked for other organisms that can cause similar symptoms.

How is Cyclospora infection treated?

The recommended treatment for infection with cyclospora is a combination of two antibiotics, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, also known as Bactrim, Septra, or Cotrim. People who have diarrhea should rest and drink plenty of fluids. No alternative drugs have been identified yet for people with Cyclospora infection who are unable to take sulfa drugs. Some experimental studies, however, have suggested that ciprofloxacin or nitazoxanide may be effective, although to a lesser degree than trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. See your health care provider to discuss alternative treatment options.

How can Cyclospora infection be prevented?

Avoiding water or food that may be contaminated is advisable when traveling. Drinking bottled or boiled water and avoiding fresh ready-to-eat produce should help to reduce the risk of infection in regions with high rates of infection. Improving sanitary conditions in developing regions with poor environmental and economic conditions is likely to help to reduce exposure.

Washing fresh fruits and vegetables at home may help to remove some of the organisms, but Cyclospora may remain on produce even after washing.

Mama C’s Donuts sickens 266 with Norovirus

A Norovirus outbreak that was traced back to Mama C’s Donuts sickened 266 people. That number continues to climb, according to the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department.

The department also believes the virus was foodborne instead of an environmental issue.

“I would suspect this is a foodborne illness. Again, Norovirus is a flu-like stomach bug, if you will. And that’s what we see, that’s what it’s pointing to again. Where did it actually come from? Was it food contact surface or was it an affected food service worker?” said health commissioner Eric Zgodinski. 

The Toledo-Lucas County Health Department said the outbreak is tied to Mama C’s Donuts located on Conant Street in Maumee. The restaurant remains closed during the investigation.

All those affected by the virus had eaten at the restaurant from August 4 to August 7.

The restaurant voluntarily closed for cleaning on August 8. 

Symptoms of Norovirus include diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, headaches, body aches and a mild fever. 

The health department said people typically become sick 24 to 48 hours after exposure to the virus, with symptoms lasting one to two days.

However, people who had the virus can spread it up to two weeks after the symptoms go away. 

Norovirus is spread through contact with infected individuals or through contaminated food prepared by a person who is currently or was recently ill.

The health department said Norovirus is common this time of year, and those affected should refrain from handling and working with food for at least three days after their symptoms go away.

Salmonella Outbreak Strikes Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin

A total of 109 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Kiambu (48) or Salmonella Thompson (61) have been reported from 16 states – Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin

Thirty-five ill people have been hospitalized. One death has been reported from New York City.

Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates that Maradol papayas imported from Mexico are the likely source of this multistate outbreak.

At this time, Caribeña brand papayas from Mexico have been identified as one brand linked to the outbreak. On July 26, Grande Produce recalled Caribeña brand Maradol papayas that were distributed between July 10 and July 19, 2017.

Through testing, the FDA has also identified Maradol papayas from the Carica de Campeche papaya farm in Mexico as a likely source of the outbreak. The agency is working to identify other brands of papayas that may have originated from Carica de Campeche and facilitate recalls.

CDC recommends that consumers not eat, restaurants not serve, and retailers not sell Maradol papayas from Mexico.

Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Salmonella outbreaks. The Salmonella lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Salmonella 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 Salmonella lawyers have litigated Salmonella cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as cantaloupe, tomatoes, ground turkey, salami, sprouts, cereal, peanut butter, and food served in restaurants.  The law firm has brought Salmonella lawsuits against such companies as Cargill, ConAgra, Peanut Corporation of America, Sheetz, Taco Bell, Subway and Wal-Mart.

If you or a family member became ill with a Salmonella infection, including Reactive Arthritis or Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Salmonella attorneys for a free case evaluation.

Red Door Salmonella Outbreak Growing

Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department, along with Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, is continuing to investigate an outbreak of salmonella in West Point. Gina Uhing, Health Director for Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department reports that: “to date, there have been 22 confirmed cases and 6 probable cases.”

“All of the interviews that have been conducted with confirmed cases continue to show that dining at Red Door Coffee was a common factor,” Uhing said. “For that reason, a survey of restaurant patrons was initiated to help determine possible causes and sources of the illness.” Red Door Coffee owners and staff have been extremely cooperative and helpful throughout this process and all parties are focused on resolving this issue.

Anyone who ate at Red Door Coffee between July 14 – July 29 is asked to complete a brief survey that will help ELVPHD and DHHS in this process. The survey may be found
at: https://han.ne.gov/survey/rdc or by visiting the ELVPHD website at www.elvphd.org.

Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Salmonella outbreaks. The Salmonella lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Salmonella 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 Salmonella lawyers have litigated Salmonella cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as cantaloupe, tomatoes, ground turkey, salami, sprouts, cereal, peanut butter, and food served in restaurants.  The law firm has brought Salmonella lawsuits against such companies as Cargill, ConAgra, Peanut Corporation of America, Sheetz, Taco Bell, Subway and Wal-Mart.

If you or a family member became ill with a Salmonella infection, including Reactive Arthritis or Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Salmonella attorneys for a free case evaluation.

Two Strains of Salmonella Sicken 109 in 16 States – Mexican Papayas

The CDC reports today that the outbreak investigation has expanded to include another strain of Salmonella.

Sixty-four more ill people from 15 states were added to this investigation since the last update on July 21, 2017.

Six more states have reported ill people: Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin

Laboratory tests showed that the strain of Salmonella Thompson isolated from papayas collected in Maryland is closely related genetically to clinical isolates from ill people.

FDA tested other papayas imported from Mexico and found they were contaminated with several types of Salmonella.

A total of 109 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Kiambu (48) or Salmonella Thompson (61) have been reported from 16 states – Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin

Thirty-five ill people have been hospitalized. One death has been reported from New York City.

Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates that Maradol papayas imported from Mexico are the likely source of this multistate outbreak.

At this time, Caribeña brand papayas from Mexico have been identified as one brand linked to the outbreak. On July 26, Grande Produce recalled Caribeña brand Maradol papayas that were distributed between July 10 and July 19, 2017.

Through testing, the FDA has also identified Maradol papayas from the Carica de Campeche papaya farm in Mexico as a likely source of the outbreak. The agency is working to identify other brands of papayas that may have originated from Carica de Campeche and facilitate recalls.

CDC recommends that consumers not eat, restaurants not serve, and retailers not sell Maradol papayas from Mexico.

Red Door Salmonella Outbreak Sickens at Least 28

Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department and Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services continue to investigate an outbreak of salmonella in West Point. To date, there have been 20 confirmed cases and 8 probable cases. ELVPHD and DHHS are working to identify the source of the outbreak and make sure the risk is eliminated.

Local health department officials and DHHS are conducting interviews with Nebraskans who contracted the illness. So far, all confirmed cases have one common factor which is dining at Red Door Coffee in West Point. Red Door Coffee owners and staff are fully cooperating with the investigation.

Anyone who ate at Red Door Coffee July 14 – July 29 is asked to complete a brief survey that will help ELVPHD and DHHS in this investigation. The survey may be found at:  https://han.ne.gov/survey/rdc.

Salmonella is caused by a bacteria that lives in the intestinal tracts of humans and animals. It is usually spread to humans by eating contaminated food, including beef, poultry, milk, eggs, fruits or vegetables.

Symptoms of salmonella include fever, diarrhea and stomach cramps. The illness usually lasts 4-7 days. Most people recover without treatment. However, in some cases the diarrhea may be so severe that a person needs to be hospitalized. People at highest risk for salmonella infection include: children under 5 years old, older adults and people with weakened immune systems. Anyone experiencing symptoms consistent with salmonella should contact their doctor for recommendations on testing and treatment.

Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Salmonella outbreaks. The Salmonella lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Salmonella 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 Salmonella lawyers have litigated Salmonella cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as cantaloupe, tomatoes, ground turkey, salami, sprouts, cereal, peanut butter, and food served in restaurants.  The law firm has brought Salmonella lawsuits against such companies as Cargill, ConAgra, Peanut Corporation of America, Sheetz, Taco Bell, Subway and Wal-Mart.

If you or a family member became ill with a Salmonella infection, including Reactive Arthritis or Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Salmonella attorneys for a free case evaluation.

Lake Wildwood tied to E. coli Outbreak

As previously reported, there are E. coli infections that are possibly linked to the Main Beach at Lake Wildwood in Commodore Park. The Nevada County Public Health Department (NCPHD) began receiving reports of sick children last Thursday, July 27th. As of today, NCPHD has received reports of nine young children who are ill, six of whom have been hospitalized, though two of the hospitalized children have been discharged home. Three of the hospitalized children have developed Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), which is a potentially life-threatening condition with anemia and kidney complications. Though HUS is a very serious condition, most people who are diagnosed with HUS recover fully. In addition, one adult closely associated with one of the symptomatic children has been diagnosed with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli.

The NCPHD and Nevada County Environmental Health Department continue to work closely on an active investigation of this outbreak. In cooperation with Lake Wildwood Association Management, the Environmental Health Department closed the Commodore Park beach on July 28th in an effort to ensure public health and safety. Preliminary test results from water samples taken near that beach were received on Saturday, July 29th, and the results warranted continued beach closure. (It can take up to 1-2 days to receive these preliminary results.) As an additional precautionary measure, NCPHD sent an advisory to all Lake Wildwood residents recommending no recreational swimming in the lake until additional beach areas were tested. NCPHD emphasized that this advisory was most critical for more vulnerable populations including young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and those with weakened immune systems. In addition, Environmental Health Department staff worked with the Lake Wildwood Association to post warnings and the NCPHD advisory at all of the lake’s public beaches. The Lake Wildwood Association Management continues to cooperate and be responsive to multiple county departments in the efforts to prevent further illness.

At the request of the Environmental Health Department, the Department of Public Works collected water samples at Lake Wildwood. Samples were taken from the five public beaches along the lake near the shoreline, as the shoreline at the beach at Commodore Park is where all of the ill children were known to have played. Results from those samples were received late yesterday, August 1st, and three of the five public beaches (Commodore Park, Meadow Park, and Hideaway Park) had elevated levels of fecal coliforms, which are bacteria that can cause serious illness. The Environmental Health Department determined that the results warranted closures of all of the public beaches to mitigate any further health risk.

The Public Works Department tested for leaks in the sewer lines for the Lake Wildwood area by using an inert, non-toxic dye. The dye, green in color, will dissipate with exposure to direct sunlight within 24 hours. Residents may, however, notice waters that are coming out of the plant after treatment will have a rich green color.

Though various tests have been conducted, the source of the contamination has not yet been determined. The investigation continues and the lake water will be tested regularly at seven different locations near the beaches listed above. This testing will occur twice a week at the same seven locations until further notice. The beaches, therefore, will remain closed until further notice and the no swimming advisory remains in effect as well. The public pool remains open and no infections have been linked to the pool at this time.

The symptoms of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), vomiting and sometimes fever. It can take up to ten days after exposure to develop symptoms, and most people recover within five to ten days. “This illness is more dangerous in young children than healthy adults, and should be taken very seriously” said Dr. Ken Cutler, Nevada County Health Officer. “If you or a loved one experience these symptoms, please contact your health care provider right away. If there are complications such as dehydration or anemia, timely treatment can make a significant difference in your recovery.” Moreover, anyone with these symptoms or caring for someone with these symptoms should wash their hands meticulously and frequently and should not prepare food for others. In addition, anyone who has experienced these symptoms should not attend daycare with without clearance from a health care provider.

Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of E. coli outbreaks and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The E. coli lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of E. coli and other foodborne illness infections 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 E. coli lawyers have litigated E. coli and HUS cases stemming from outbreaks traced to ground beef, raw milk, lettuce, spinach, sprouts, and other food products.  The law firm has brought E. coli lawsuits against such companies as Jack in the Box, Dole, ConAgra, Cargill, and Jimmy John’s.  We have proudly represented such victims as Brianne Kiner, Stephanie Smith and Linda Rivera.

If you or a family member became ill with an E. coli infection or HUS after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark E. coli attorneys for a free case evaluation.

Nebraska Hit with Salmonella

Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department, along with Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, is investigating an outbreak of salmonella in West Point. To date, there have been 15 confirmed cases and 6 probable cases. ELVPHD and DHHS are working to identify the source of the outbreak and make sure the risk is eliminated.

Salmonella is caused by a bacteria that lives in the intestinal tracts of humans and animals. It is usually spread to humans by eating contaminated food, including beef, poultry, milk, eggs, or vegetables. Thorough cooking kills salmonella. Although a cause has not yet been identified, thorough hand-washing with soap and warm water for 60 seconds before handling or eating food and after using the bathroom is always recommended.

Symptoms of salmonella include fever, diarrhea and stomach cramps. The illness usually lasts 4-7 days. Anyone experiencing symptoms consistent with Salmonella should contact their doctor for recommendations on testing and treatment.

Live Poultry Sickening with Salmonella

Since the last update on June 1, 2017, 418 more ill people have been reported. The most recent illness began on June 20, 2017.

CDC, multiple states, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) are investigating 10 separate multistate outbreaks of Salmonella infections in people who had contact with live poultry in backyard flocks.

These outbreaks are caused by several DNA fingerprints of different Salmonella bacteria: Salmonella Braenderup, Salmonella Enteritidis, Salmonella Hadar, Salmonella I 4,[5],12:I , Salmonella Indiana, Salmonella Infantis, Salmonella Litchfield, Salmonella Mbandaka, Salmonella Muenchen, Salmonella Typhimurium.

The outbreak strains of Salmonella have infected a reported 790 people in 48 states and the District of Columbia.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from January 4, 2017 to June 20, 2017.

Of 580 people with available information, 174 ill people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Epidemiologic, traceback, and laboratory findings link the 10 outbreaks to contact with live poultry, such as chicks and ducklings, from multiple hatcheries.

In interviews, 409 (74%) of 553 ill people reported contact with live poultry in the week before illness started.

Contact with live poultry or their environment can make people sick with Salmonella infections. Live poultry can be carrying Salmonella bacteria but appear healthy and clean, with no sign of illness.