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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. --
More than 250 Hepatitis A immunizations were administered Tuesday at the Cumberland County Public Health Department to individuals who may have been exposed to the disease at a local restaurant, according to officials.
Employees and anyone who visited the Olive Garden at 234 North McPherson Church Road anytime on July 26, 28, 29, 31 and Aug. 1, 2 and 8 may have been exposed to Hepatitis A through a restaurant employee. They should contact the Health Department immediately to receive a free injection of Hepatitis A immune globulin or vaccine.
Call 910-433-3824 for more information.
Only individuals from the seven dates listed above may obtain the immunization through the Cumberland County Public Health Department, 1235 Ramsey Street, at a walk-in clinic which will be open Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
People who were at the restaurant on any date other than those listed do not need to go to the Health Department on Wednesday because both immune globulin (also called gamma globulin) and Hepatitis A vaccine can only prevent infection with Hepatitis A virus if given within 14 days of exposure.
This article continues at: http://www2.nbc17.com/news/cumberland-county/2011/aug/08/8/cumberland-co...
By Bill Tomson
Federal officials said they turned up a dangerous form of salmonella at a Cargill Inc. turkey plant last year, and then four times this year at stores selling the Cargill turkey, but didn't move for a recall until an outbreak killed one person and sickened 77 others.
Cargill and the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the recall of ground turkey from the Cargill plant in Springdale, Ark., on Aug. 3. The USDA said the third-largest meat recall in history affected 36 million pounds of ground turkey.
Food-safety specialists said the delay reflected a gap in federal rules that don't treat ...
This article continues at: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904140604576498590579065416.html?mod=googlenews_wsj
Salmonella, E. coli and listeria are food borne bacteria that are known to cause numerous illnesses. A team of researchers from University of Minnesota has uncovered a naturally occurring lantibiotic that is a kind of peptide produced by harmless bacteria. The latter can be supposedly combined with foodstuffs to kill negative bacteria like Salmonella, E. coli and so on.
This lantibiotic is a natural preservative that is known to kill gram-negative bacteria, specifically the hazardous types. This peptide is touted to be used in meats, processed cheese, egg, dairy products, canned foods, seafood, salad dressing, fermented beverages and many more to prohibit infectious organisms. The advantages of the aforesaid preservative are not limited to safety alone. It is seemingly easy to digest, non-toxic, non-allergic and the bad bacteria may not find it simple to oppose the function of lantibiotic.
“It’s aimed at protecting foods from a broad range of bugs that cause disease. Of the natural preservatives, it has a broader umbrella of bugs that it can protect against,” commented Dan O’Sullivan, a professor of food science and nutrition in the university’s College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences.
The recent dangerous salmonella outbreak calls for such preservatives with shielding effects. According to Shaun Kennedy, director of the National Center for Food Protection and Defense, salmonella seems to play a major role in food-borne illnesses. Last fall witnessed the deadly epidemic of eggs infected with the latter. This was apparently the greatest food contamination in 2010.
Salmonella and E. coli are gram-negative bacteria, which cause more than half of all health issues arriving from food in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, disclose that salmonella is related to nearly 28 percent of above 3,000 deaths caused due to food contamination annually.
By Maryn McKenna
As the scale of the nationwide outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg started to sink in Thursday — along with the stunningly large recall of 36 million pounds of ground turkey, much of it probably already eaten — there were a number of moments that made a careful listener need to stop and just think.
First was the sheer size of the announced recall, which food-policy reporter Tom Philpott estimated would fill several floors of the Empire State Building, and Will Balsham suggested via Twitter would fill miles of tractor trailers.
Second was the confirmation, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that the Salmonella samples recovered from patients are resistant to several antibiotics — ampicillin, tetracycline and streptomycin — that are commonly used not only in human medicine, but in agriculture as well. (The strain still responds to Cipro, a fluoroquinolone; ceftriaxone, a cephalosporin; and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, a drug combination best known under the name Bactrim.)
Third was the government’s measured response to the unfolding of the outbreak. In a Thursday morning phone briefing, reporters pressed CDC and USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) representatives to explain why Cargill Inc. was only contacted by federal representatives last Friday, when one arm of the investigation showed a turkey connection a week earlier and a separate federal database was recording provocative results in May.
But the biggest revelation may have been that, in strict legal terms, there may have been no wrongdoing in the distribution via turkey of the drug-resistant strain that has killed one person and sickened 78 — because Salmonella, the organism in question, is not classified by the federal government as something that is illegal to distribute.
In food-safety regulation, there’s a concept called “adulterant”, a substance that by law may not be distributed in food. When you hear the word, what springs to mind is probably Upton Sinclair-style additives such as sawdust and plaster. But foodborne disease organisms can be adulterants also. The best-known is undoubtedly E. coli O157, which was declared an adulterant in 1994, one year after the Jack-in-the-Box outbreak that killed 4 children and put 171 in the hospital.
Salmonella, though, is not an adulterant. The federal government has never named it one, despite pleas from nonprofit organizations such as the Center for Science in the Public Interest, which in May filed a petition with the USDA that specifically asked for drug-resistant Salmonella — the organism in this outbreak — to be declared an adulterant so that extra preventative steps could be authorized according to law. The USDA has not acted on the request.
(Resistant Salmonella isn’t the only outbreak-causing organism that activists believe should be declared an adulterant. Crusading food-safety attorney Bill Marler — who began his career representing the Jack-in-the-Box victims — since 2009 has been pressing the federal government to add other major E. coli strains to the adulterant category, including the E. coli O104 that caused widespread illness in Europe this summer.)
Declaring an organism an adulterant doesn’t only make it illegal for food producers to distribute. It also imposes a duty on federal food-safety agencies to detect its presence in food so as to prevent its distribution. When USDA accepted E. coli O157 as an adulterant in 1994, the agency created a sampling and testing program that operates within the food-production industry to detect the organism and stop it before it goes out the plant loading dock. No such program exists for resistant Salmonella, even though there have been 29 known outbreaks of resistant Salmonella in food in the United States since the 1970s.
It’s important to say that there is some federal detective effort aimed at finding disease-causing and resistant organisms in the food supply. It was that effort that detected this Salmonella strain in food over the past few months and allowed the contaminated product to be linked to the emerging outbreak. But without a declaration of adulteration, the effort legally can only focus on the organism after the fact: after it has contaminated the meat, left the plant, and come to notice by making people sick.
Here’s what that looks like, from the annual report of the joint federal program, NARMS (National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System) that performs routine sampling of retail meat to see what organisms are present. This is the graphic, from the 2009 report, that presents drug-resistant Salmonella in turkey. The letters across the bottom represent different classes of antibiotics. The higher the bars, the more resistance there is. NB: if you look carefully at the different colors, you’ll notice that in 2008 and 2009, antibiotic resistance has been as high as it has ever been.
This article continues at: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/08/salmonella-deadly-legal
By Helen Briggs
A strain of Salmonella resistant to the most powerful antibiotics has been found in the UK, France and Denmark.
The outbreak emerged in Africa then spread to Europe, picking up antibiotic resistance along the way, says a team of international researchers.
They are calling on health officials to step up monitoring to stop the "superbug" spreading globally.
Cases have grown from a handful in 2002 to 500 worldwide in 2008, they report in The Journal of Infectious Diseases.
Co-researcher Dr Simon Le Hello of Institut Pasteur in Paris, France, said: "We hope that this publication might stir awareness among national and international health, food, and agricultural authorities so that they take the necessary measures to control and stop the dissemination of this strain before it spreads globally, as did another multidrug-resistant strain of Salmonella, Typhimurium DT104, starting in the 1990s."
Most of the millions of Salmonella infections a year are not serious, causing only mild stomach upsets. Occasionally, however, particularly in the elderly or in people with weakened immune systems, they can be life-threatening and may need treatment with antibiotics.
We recommend people follow some basic food safety rules: wash hands properly and keep them clean, cook food thoroughly, chill foods properly and avoid cross-contamination”
The strain, known as S. Kentucky, has developed resistance to the antibiotic Ciprofloxacin, often used for treating severe Salmonella cases.
French researchers started monitoring the strain after noticing a handful of cases in travellers returning from Egypt, Kenya and Tanzania.
Data from other countries suggests S. Kentucky arose in poultry in Egypt in the 1990s, and then spread to farm animals in various parts of Africa and the Middle East.
Although the first infections outside Africa seem to be in international travellers, more recent cases seem to have been acquired in Europe, perhaps through contaminated food, say the researchers. Cases have been seen in England, Wales, Denmark and France.
The Health Protection Agency said there had been 698 cases of S. Kentucky from 2000 to 2008, 0.6% of all Salmonella cases reported in England and Wales .
Just 244 of the cases had resistance to ciprofloxacin.
Altogether, there are around 13,000 cases of Salmonella each year. Infections are only treated with antibiotics when they become invasive, and there are a number of drugs which can be used.
A spokesman said: "The number of cases we have been seeing in England and Wales has shown some increase but remained fairly stable over the latter part of the study.
"Care should be taken with hand and food hygiene particularly while travelling as over 50% of S.Kentucky cases reported in England and Wales are known to be travel-related."
A spokesperson from the UK's Food Standard's Agency (FSA) said human Salmonella infections are rarely treated with antibiotics, and cooking food thoroughly will destroy any bacteria irrespective of whether the organism is resistant to antibiotics or not.
He added: "As part of the FSA strategy to reduce foodborne illness we recommend people follow some basic food safety rules: wash hands properly and keep them clean, cook food thoroughly, chill foods properly and avoid cross-contamination.
"These principles, which are designed to reduce the risk from pathogens, such as Salmonella, are equally applicable whether these pathogens are resistant to antimicrobials or not."
This article taken from: http://www.google.com/url?sa=X&q=http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-14386654&ct=ga&cad=CAcQARgAIAAoATAAOABA77Dm8QRIAVAAWABiBWVuLVVT&cd=bngnWZdyRwM&usg=AFQjCNHIygmCTicGzfgWRLsmBQ91l8CweA
**Please note - this is an antibiotic resistant strain**
By Elizabeth Weise
A public health alert has gone out from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture due to ground turkey from an unnamed producer that has been implicated in an estimated 77 illnesses in 26 states. USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service issued the alert Friday night because of concerns about illnesses caused by a salmonella type called salmonella Heidelberg.
The agency acted because of "continuous medical reports, ongoing investigations and testing conducted by various departments of health across the nation" that found an association between people eating ground turkey products and the illnesses.
The investigation is being conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state health departments, USDA says.
So far neither USDA nor CDC have been able to determine the producer of the ground turkey that has been causing the illnesses, but the investigation continues.
Food contaminated with salmonella can cause salmonellosis. Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within eight to 72 hours of eating the tainted food, in addition to chills, headache, nausea and vomiting that can last up to seven days. In the very young, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems, salmonella can be life-threatening.
The agency called for consumers to be aware "of the critical importance of following package cooking instructions for frozen or fresh ground turkey products," and to always allow ground turkey to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
By Gretchen Goetz
Of the approximately 1,000 children who suffer from E. coli O157:H7 infections each year, 15 to 20 percent develop the life-threatening kidney disease HUS -- hemolytic uremic syndrome. But an important new study indicates that patients who receive fluids intravenously early in the course of the illness are less likely to develop this serious complication.
Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis (WUSL) medical center analyzed the cases of 50 patients under the age of 18 who were treated for HUS at 12 pediatric hospitals in the U.S. and Scotland. They found that 68 percent became unable to urinate, a catastrophic step in the disease's progression.
However, of the 25 patients who received no IV fluids within 4 days of getting sick, 84 percent stopped urinating. Of the other 25 patients who did get IV fluids right away, only 52 percent stopped urinating. Other factors did not seem to make a difference.
"If kids were given any IV fluids in the first 4 days of illness, they were more likely to continue peeing and have decreased complications. They were less likely to need to go on dialysis. Their hospitalization courses were shorter. They just did better," said Christina Hickey, a third year resident at WUSL Children's Hospital and lead author of the study.
HUS develops when the harmful Shiga toxins produced by E. coli O157:H7 bacteria destroy the tissue of small blood vessels, which clog and damage red blood cells that cannot squeeze through the obstructed passages. The kidney, which needs adequate bloodflow to filter out waste, becomes compromised and the patient can no longer secrete urine.
HUS is the most common cause of acute kidney failure in infants and young children, and more than half the children with HUS require dialysis. But as the recent E. coli outbreak in Europe has demonstrated, adults infected by pathogenic E. coli are also susceptible to HUS.
Hickey says the increased blood flow provided by sodium-containing, intravenous fluid, which expands blood vessels, could decrease the odds for oliguria, or low urine output. Oral fluids aren't effective, because E. coli patients are experiencing such profuse bouts of diarrhea, and may also be vomiting, that they can't remain hydrated on their own.
In a story by the Washington University in St. Louis Newsroom, Hickey explained: "HUS is like a heart attack to the kidneys. What we're trying to do is make sure the kidneys get enough blood flow. By giving intravenous fluids, we try to keep those kidneys working and to keep these children urinating. We think this will have a substantial impact on reducing the severity of kidney failure in these kids."
The study showed that the ability of the young patients' kidneys to fend off the negative effects of the disease directly correlated to the amount of IV fluids the children had received.
Preventing the development of HUS is crucial in the course of an E. coli infection, because there is no way to treat the kidney disease once it occurs, and no way to lessen the severity of kidney injury it causes. According to the study, administering IV fluids immediately after the onset of bloody diarrhea, a common symptom of an E. coli O157:H7 infection, could reduce a child's chances of developing an illness that becomes a wait-and-see game once it has taken hold.
Hickey says children with bloody diarrhea should be examined immediately by a health-care provider. There is a narrow window of opportunity in which IV fluids must be administered before it's too late.
"If a child is identified early as having an E. coli O157:H7 infection, we think that intravenous fluids can help protect the kidney and possibly help that child avoid dialysis," says Hickey. "The important thing is for providers to identify the kids at risk for E. coli O157:H7 infection early," says Hickey.
The study authors point out that early diagnosis is sometimes difficult because doctors must wait for the results of microbiological tests of stool specimens to confirm whether a patient has E. coli. More rapid testing is needed, the authors note, in order to avoid this delay.
They also urge doctors to recognize the signs of an E. coli infection and take swift measures to diagnose a patient.
"We considered the possibility that providers hesitated to give fluids to children who were on the verge of developing HUS," the study says. "However, half or fewer of the children in this cohort underwent any testing, received any intravenous fluids, or were admitted to any hospital in the first 4 days of illness, well before HUS is diagnosed. Such inaction does not reflect major provider concerns about impending renal failure at the initial encounter."
This research builds on the findings of a previous study, which also showed that administering IV fluids can curb the downward spiral leading to kidney failure in E. coli O157:H7 infected patients. However, that study was confined to 29 patients under the age of 10 in Seattle, while this one examined children of all ages in hospitals in St. Louis; Seattle; Sacramento; Albuquerque; Little Rock; Milwaukee; Cincinnati; Indianapolis; Memphis; Columbus, Ohio; and Glasgow, Scotland.
Given the findings of this research, the authors note with dismay that giving IV fluids to E. coli patients is not already standard procedure.
"It is concerning that 14 of the 39 subjects who were evaluated during the first 4 days of illness received no intravenous fluids, and of those who did, few received the volume or sodium content we have recommended," the study says. "Opportunities to provide volume expansion in that critical interval appear, therefore, to have been lost."
The team's findings were released last week, as doctors in Europe continued to treat patients of the recent outbreak of E. coli O104:H4 there, where as many as 900 of the almost 4,000 outbreak victims developed HUS.
This study was released ahead of its scheduled publication time in hopes that it might provide guidance to the European community. That epidemic was caused by a different strain of E. coli than the one examined in this paper, but has similar effects.
"Because of the important public health implications of this study, we have decided to publish this article quickly online ahead of print," says a note from the editor.
Hickey's St. Louis collaborators were Dr. Robert J. Rothbaum, the Centennial Professor of Pediatrics, and Dr. Anne M. Beck, associate professor of pediatrics, both at Washington University School of Medicine. Dr. Phillip I. Tarr, the Melvin E. Carnahan Professor of Pediatrics and director of the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, supervised Hickey on the study and is senior author of the paper.
This article taken from: http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/07/iv-fluids-could-head-off-hus-in-children/
By Darla Miles
But today, with the risk of salmonella, eggs are one of seven dirty foods you should know about. The topic was for a popular blog for Men's Health Magazine.
"The most important thing here is that men's health has looked at all these foods and found that these are the ones that are responsible for the highest number of the 48 million food poisoning cases that we have in this country every year," said Clint Carter, the Associate Editor of Men's Health Magazine.
Number two on the list, surprisingly, are peaches.
"With fruit, especially peaches, or fruits with any thin skin that you are going to be eating that skin, they carry a lot of pesticides," Carter said.
Carter recommends going organic for all thin skinned fruit.
But Dr. Philip Tierno, director of microbiology at NYU Langone Medical Center, says washing with soap will do the trick.
"You want to make sure you wash that really well," Dr. Tierno said.
Oysters are one of the seven dirtiest foods. But people still love and eat them.
"Love 'em! I don't care I love it. I haven't gotten sick yet," said Wynter Galindez, a Fordham resident.
But you can. Raw oysters can contain bacteria or a virus, so it's number three. The important thing is to always cook them.
People who buy pre-washed lettuce, tend not to clean them again.
"It's fresh direct, it's clean," said Cristina Berl, a Hoboken resident.
But evidently, it is not clean enough because lettuce is number four. It still contains bacteria and pesticides.
Consider five as a trifecta of raw chicken, ground turkey and ground beef. All three are carriers of salmonella and e-coli.
Number six in the dirty foods list are cold cuts.
"The biggest problem with cold cuts is that people keep them in the refrigerator too long and they can actually grow an organism that loves refrigeration temperature," Dr. Tierno said.
Scallions are number seven because it is hard to clean inside the ridges.
So a good rule of thumb is that all meats should be cooked thoroughly, all fruits and vegetables should be washed thoroughly. If not, Dr. Tierno says, it's only a matter of time before you get sick.
This article taken from: http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/health&id=8273082
By David Milliken
(Reuters) - Germany's federal disease control institute declared on Tuesday that an E. coli outbreak which killed more than 50 people is now over and no cases have been reported in the past three weeks.
More than 4,400 people in Europe and North America were infected in two outbreaks of E. coli infection -- A large one centered in northern Germany and a smaller cluster focused around the French city of Bordeaux.
The outbreaks prompted Russia to ban imports of fresh fruit and vegetables from the European Union, and also caused western European consumers to shy away from fresh produce.
"The biggest E. coli outbreak in Germany is now over," said Reinhard Burger, president of the Robert Koch Institute, Germany's national disease control agency.
The agency said it was shutting down its operations center for monitoring the outbreak, but that it would continue with intensified surveillance in case the pathogen resurfaced.
Fenugreek seeds imported from Egypt are believed to have been the likeliest source of the outbreak.
This article taken from: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/26/us-germany-ecoli-idUSTRE76P42B20110726
By David W Freeman
CBS) Pet frogs associated with a nationwide outbreak of salmonella poisoning (salmonellosis) are back on sale in the U.S., and the officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are hopping mad.
As of July 18, 241 people from 42 states had been infected with the Salmonella Typhimurium bacteria responsible for the outbreak, the agency said. The infections have been tied to African dwarf frogs and the fish tanks they live in.
A Madera County, California company, Blue Lobster Farms, had stopped shipments of the frogs in April but resumed shipments in early June, the agency said. The frogs are showing up in pet stores, toy stores, fairs and carnivals, and from online retailers.
The company could not be reached for comment, the Associated Press reported.
Kids under age five are especially vulnerable to serious infections. They should avoid contact with water frogs, their water, and their habitats. Others at high risk include pregnant women, people with weak immune systems, organ transplant recipients, and those undergoing chemotherapy.
Thirty percent of people sickened by the bacteria were hospitalized, but no deaths have been reported.
Salmonellosis causes fever, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps within 72 hours of exposure. The illness usually lasts four to seven days, and most people recover without treatment.
The CDC has more on Salmonella.
This article taken from: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-20081381-10391704.html