During the summers of 2015 and 2016, the United Kingdom experienced large outbreaks of cyclosporiasis in travellers returning from Mexico. As the source of the outbreaks was not identified, there is the potential for a similar outbreak to occur in 2017; indeed 78 cases had already been reported as at 27 July 2017. Early communication and international collaboration is essential to provide a better understanding of the source and extent of this recurring situation.
Cyclosporiasis in travellers returning to the United Kingdom from Mexico in Summer 2017: Lessons from the recent past to inform the future
As of Wednesday, 14 people – 11 children and three adults – are believed to have contracted E. coli after visiting the Main Beach and, in many cases, ingesting lake water, according to the Nevada County Public Health Department. Lab results so far confirm 11 of those 14 cases are connected to the lake’s bacteria.
By Tuesday, nine people had been hospitalized in connection with the outbreak, county Public Health Coordinator Patti Carter said. Six had been discharged by Wednesday evening.
Four sickened children developed a serious condition called hemolytic uremic syndrome, which can lead to potentially fatal kidney failure and anemia.
I enjoy working in the field of public health, it’s challenging and exciting. I have had the opportunity to work with some incredible epidemiologists, public health inspectors, and public health nurses, the work they do is critical during outbreaks. I have had some experience dealing with foodborne outbreaks of Hepatitis A and due to its long incubation period, it’s a nightmare trying to get information from ill persons to identify a common source.
Outbreak News Today reports
In a follow-up on the hepatitis A outbreak in San Diego County, CA, the number of cases reported this year has climbed to 312, including 10 fatalities, according to latest health department data. Of the cases, nearly seven out of 10 patients required hospitalization for their illness (215). The County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency says the investigation into the outbreak is ongoing. It has been challenging because of the long incubation period of the disease (15 to 50 days) and the difficulty experienced to contact many individuals sickened with the illness who are homeless and/or illicit drug users. To date, no common source of food, beverage, or other cause has been identified; as a result, the source of the outbreak remains undetermined.
I have never been on a cruise ship; just the thought of masses of people in close quarters on open water makes me want to barf. Large norovirus outbreaks are associated with settings where people live in close quarters and can easily infect each other, such as cruise ships, dormitories, and hospitals. Contaminated food, water, an infected person are all potential sources of norovirus. Viral contamination of environmental surfaces (fomites) may persist during and after outbreaks and contribute to further illnesses. The source of the Sun princess cruise ship outbreak is currently unknown.
A norovirus outbreak has struck at least 91 passengers on a Sun Princess cruise ship. The affected people were treated for gastro after the ship docked in Brisbane on Thursday morning. A Queensland Health spokesman told Daily Mail Australia: ‘Metro North Public Health Unit is aware of at least 91 cases of gastro on board a cruise ship that berthed in Brisbane this morning. ‘We have been advised that on-board testing has found norovirus to be the cause of the illness.’ It comes after 140 passengers came down with gastro in February after a Sun Princess cruise returned from a 14-day trip around New Zealand. A fortnight before that, there was another outbreak on the vessel during a previous cruise.
Norovirus, one of the leading causes of acute gastroenteritis, is highly contagious and attempts to mitigate the bug can be extremely difficult. Moreover, trying to investigate the source of a norovirus outbreak can be frustrating and laborious for public health types.
I can still recall the pain I exhibited when I was infected with norovirus in Mexico, projectile vomiting, diarrhea, and horrible stomach cramps. Being religious, I think I recited the rosary 16 times for the pain to stop.…..then the week after, bit by 2 wild dogs on the resort….nice trip.
A quickly spreading norovirus outbreak that’s sickened more than 200 people kept a Maumee doughnut shop closed for the third day in a row Thursday. Initial investigations show patients had similar symptoms and had eaten food from Mama C’s Donuts at 924 Conant St. Illnesses were tracked to patrons who ate there Friday through Monday. Health officials said at least 214 cases were reported in Lucas County, and Wood County officials said they are investigating if about a dozen norovirus cases were caused by doughnuts the store provides to businesses there. Toledo-Lucas County Health Department spokesman Shannon Lands said Mama C’s voluntarily closed for cleaning on Tuesday. It was expected to remain closed Thursday. Many Toledo area residents had stories of how they or family members were affected. John Pointer of Port Huron, Mich., was one of the lucky ones. He said he left his granddaughter’s 8th birthday party in Perrysburg before the doughnut cake was served, and so avoided the illness. Fifteen party guests, including the birthday girl, weren’t so lucky, he said. “Everybody at the party got sick,” he said. Delray Busch’s 3-year-old daughter Corrigan started vomiting around 12:45 a.m. Tuesday after eating a doughnut Sunday. Corrigan was feeling much better Wednesday, Ms. Busch said, adding she was thankful that the illness was brief and her 2-month-old didn’t show signs of catching it. The South Toledo resident said she’s been eating at Mama C’s for two years and will be back. “They are great to our community,” she said. “I will absolutely keep supporting our small businesses.” A Wood County Health Department spokesman said that the department had confirmed that Grounds for Thought in Bowling Green sells Mama C’s products, and that the department on Wednesday was trying to determine if any other businesses are supplied by the store. “All of those doughnuts have been taken off the shelf,” said Alex Aspacher, spokesman for the department. Symptoms of norovirus include vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, fever, and body aches.
Another North American summer, another Cyclospra-induced shit-fest.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), State and Local Health Departments, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating an increase in reported cases of cyclosporiasis. The purpose of this HAN Advisory is to notify public health departments and healthcare facilities and to provide guidance to healthcare providers of the increase in reported cases. Please disseminate this information to healthcare providers in hospitals and emergency rooms, to primary care providers, and to microbiology laboratories.
Healthcare providers should consider a diagnosis of cyclosporiasis in patients with prolonged or remitting-relapsing diarrheal illness. Testing for Cyclospora is not routinely done in most U.S. laboratories, even when stool is tested for parasites. Healthcare providers must specifically order testing for Cyclospora, whether testing is requested by ova and parasite (O&P) examination, by molecular methods, or by a gastrointestinal pathogen panel test. Cyclosporiasis is a nationally notifiable disease; healthcare providers should report suspect and confirmed cases of infection to public health authorities.
As of August 2, 2017, 206 cases of Cyclospora infections have been reported to CDC in persons who became infected in the United States and became ill on or after May 1, 2017. These cases have been reported from 27 states, most of which have reported relatively few cases. Eighteen cases reported hospitalization; no deaths have been reported. 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).
The number of cases (206) reported in 2017, is higher than the number of cases reported by this date in 2016. As of August 3, 2016, 88 Cyclospora infections had been reported in persons who became infected in the United States and became ill on or after May 1, 2016.
Stephanie Strom of the NY Times writes that one of the chief selling points of the Impossible Burger, a much ballyhooed plant-based burger patty, is its resemblance to meat, right down to the taste and beeflike “blood.”
Those qualities, from an ingredient produced by a genetically engineered yeast, have made the burger a darling among high-end restaurants like Momofuku Nishi in New York and Jardinière in San Francisco, and have attracted more than $250 million in investment for the company behind it, Impossible Foods.
Bill Gates is an investor.
That makes me want to run to my Mac.
The genetically engineered yeast thingy is just thrown in there to raise alarm.
My 1985 daily squash partner, Andy, was working on genetically engineered yeast for wine back in the day. Our bottling parties were legend.
Now, its secret sauce — soy leghemoglobin, a substance found in nature in the roots of soybean plants that the company makes in its laboratory — has raised regulatory questions.
Impossible Foods wants the Food and Drug Administration to confirm that the ingredient is safe to eat. But the agency has expressed concern that it has never been consumed by humans and may be an allergen, according to documents obtained under a Freedom of Information request by the ETC Group as well as other environmental and consumer organizations and shared with The New York Times.
“F.D.A. believes the arguments presented, individually and collectively, do not establish the safety of soy leghemoglobin for consumption,” agency officials wrote in a memo they prepared for a phone conversation with the company on Aug. 3, 2015, “nor do they point to a general recognition of safety.”
Impossible Foods can still sell its burger despite the F.D.A. findings, which did not conclude soy leghemoglobin was unsafe. The company plans to resubmit its petition to the agency.
Impossible Foods is finding out what happens when a fast-moving venture capital business runs headlong into the staid world of government regulation.
In the case of Impossible Foods, the debate centers on its use of soy leghemoglobin, which the company’s engineered yeast produces and forms an important ingredient behind the business.
The company was started in 2011 by Pat Brown, a chemist at Stanford University. His approach, involving genetics, microbiology and cutting-edge chemistry attracted venture capitalists also eager to find plant-and lab-based replacements for hamburgers and chicken wings.
Impossible Foods sought to woo top chefs with a splashy sales pitch about how the burger mimicked the aroma, attributes and taste of real beef. When soy leghemoglobin breaks down, it releases a protein known as heme, giving it that meatlike texture.
Within three years of its founding, Impossible Foods landed big-name investors like Khosla, Mr. Gates and the Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing. This month, Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, joined an investment round that added $75 million to the company’s coffers.
“I love V.C.s and particularly the ones that invested in us,” Mr. Brown said at a TechCrunch conference in May, referring to venture capital firms. “But it’s truly astonishing how little diligence they do in terms of the actual science that underlies some tech companies.”
The F.D.A.’s approval is not required for new ingredients. Companies can hire consultants to run tests, and they have no obligation to inform the agency of their findings, a process known as self-affirmation.
Impossible Foods adhered to that procedure, concluding in 2014 that soy leghemoglobin was safe. But it went further, seeking the regulator’s imprimatur.
“We respect the role the F.D.A. plays in ensuring the safety of our food supply, and we believe the public wants and deserves transparency and access to any information they need to decide for themselves whether any food they might eat is safe and wholesome,” Rachel Konrad, a spokeswoman for Impossible Foods, wrote in an email.
The F.D.A., however, wanted the company to show the ingredient was safe specifically for humans. It told Impossible Foods to establish the safety of the more than 40 other proteins that make up part of its soy leghemoglobin. F.D.A. officials said the company’s assessment of the potential for the ingredient to be an allergen was deficient.
“This product has been touted as the ‘secret sauce’ in the Impossible Burger,” said Jim Thomas, program director at the ETC Group, the Canadian environmental organization that started the Freedom of Information request. “Now we know that the F.D.A. had questions about it, but it was put on the market anyway.”
Ms. Konrad defended the burger, writing it “is entirely safe to eat” and “fully compliant with all F.D.A. regulations.” She said the company was “taking extra steps to provide additional data to the F.D.A. beyond what’s required.”
Impossible Foods, she said, has tested its ingredient on rats fed “well above” the amount of soy leghemoglobin in its burger. Ms. Konrad said the company’s expert panel had determined those tests also demonstrated the ingredient was safe, and that the company would thus resubmit its petition for F.D.A. confirmation this month.
This is a novel food, and makes Canada’s approach to regulation of food safety sane, for a while.
Erdozain G, Kukanich K, Chapman B, Powell D. 2012. Observation of public health risk behaviours, risk communication and hand hygiene at Kansas and Missouri petting zoos – 2010-2011. Zoonoses Public Health. 2012 Jul 30. doi: 10.1111/j.1863-2378.2012.01531.x. [Epub ahead of print]
Observation of public health risk behaviors, risk communication and hand hygiene at Kansas and Missouri petting zoos – 2010-2011Outbreaks of human illness have been linked to visiting settings with animal contact throughout developed countries. This paper details an observational study of hand hygiene tool availability and recommendations; frequency of risky behavior; and, handwashing attempts by visitors in Kansas (9) and Missouri (4), U.S., petting zoos. Handwashing signs and hand hygiene stations were available at the exit of animal-contact areas in 10/13 and 8/13 petting zoos respectively. Risky behaviors were observed being performed at all petting zoos by at least one visitor. Frequently observed behaviors were: children (10/13 petting zoos) and adults (9/13 petting zoos) touching hands to face within animal-contact areas; animals licking children’s and adults’ hands (7/13 and 4/13 petting zoos, respectively); and children and adults drinking within animal-contact areas (5/13 petting zoos each). Of 574 visitors observed for hand hygiene when exiting animal-contact areas, 37% (n=214) of individuals attempted some type of hand hygiene, with male adults, female adults, and children attempting at similar rates (32%, 40%, and 37% respectively). Visitors were 4.8x more likely to wash their hands when a staff member was present within or at the exit to the animal-contact area (136/231, 59%) than when no staff member was present (78/343, 23%; p<0.001, OR=4.863, 95% C.I.=3.380-6.998). Visitors at zoos with a fence as a partial barrier to human-animal contact were 2.3x more likely to wash their hands (188/460, 40.9%) than visitors allowed to enter the animals’ yard for contact (26/114, 22.8%; p<0.001, OR= 2.339, 95% CI= 1.454-3.763). Inconsistencies existed in tool availability, signage, and supervision of animal-contact. Risk communication was poor, with few petting zoos outlining risks associated with animal-contact, or providing recommendations for precautions to be taken to reduce these risks.
Best practices for planning events encouraging human-animal interactions
Zoonoses and Public Health
G. Erdozain , K. KuKanich , B. Chapman and D. Powell
Educational events encouraging human–animal interaction include the risk of zoonotic disease transmission. It is estimated that 14% of all disease in the US caused by Campylobacter spp., Cryptosporidium spp., Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157, non-O157 STECs, Listeria monocytogenes, nontyphoidal Salmonella enterica and Yersinia enterocolitica were attributable to animal contact. This article reviews best practices for organizing events where human–animal interactions are encouraged, with the objective of lowering the risk of zoonotic disease transmission.
My grandfather died of Alzheimer’s in the 1980s, when I was a 20-something.
It wasn’t pretty, so stark that my grandmother took her own life rather than spend winter days going to a hospital where the man she had been with for all those years increasingly didn’t recognize her.
Glen Campbell’s death yesterday from Alzheimer’s, and Gene Wilder’s before that, rekindled lots of conflicting emotions.
In 1995, I was a cocky PhD student and about to be a father for the fourth time, when I was summoned to a meeting with, Ken Murray.
I rode my bike to a local golf club, met the former long-time president of Schneiders Meats, and established a lifelong friendship.
When Ken told me about a project he had established at the University of Waterloo in 1993, the Murray Alzheimer Research and Education Program (MAREP), after his wife’s demise from the disease, I said, I can’t understand the hell of being the primary caregiver for so long, but I know of the side-effects.
Ken had heard I might know something of science-and-society stuff, and he actually funded my faculty position at the University of Guelph for the first two years.
Sure, other weasels at Guelph tried to appropriate the money, but Ken would have none of it.
For over 20 years now, I’ve tried to promote Ken’s vision, of making the best technology available to enhance the safety of the food supply.
I’ve got lots of demons, and what I’ve learned is that it’s best to be public about them. It removes the stigma. It makes one recognize they are not alone. It’s humbling (and that is good).
In addition to being an unbelievably gifted songwriter, session player, and hit maker, Glen Campbell was – directly or not – an outstanding advocate of awareness about Alzheimer’s.
Michael Pollack writes in The New York Times obituary that Glen Campbell, the sweet-voiced, guitar-picking son of a sharecropper who became a recording, television and movie star in the 1960s and ’70s, waged a publicized battle with alcohol and drugs and gave his last performances while in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, died on Tuesday in Nashville. He was 81.
Tim Plumley, his publicist, said the cause was Alzheimer’s.
Mr. Campbell revealed that he had the disease in June 2011, saying it had been diagnosed six months earlier. He also announced that he was going ahead with a farewell tour later that year in support of his new album, “Ghost on the Canvas.” He and his wife, Kimberly Campbell, told People magazine that they wanted his fans to be aware of his condition if he appeared disoriented onstage.
What was envisioned as a five-week tour turned into 151 shows over 15 months. Mr. Campbell’s last performance was in Napa, Calif., on Nov. 30, 2012, and by the spring of 2014 he had moved into a long-term care and treatment center near Nashville.
Mr. Campbell released his final studio album, “Adiós,” in June. The album, which included guest appearances by Willie Nelson, Vince Gill and three of Mr. Campbell’s children, was recorded after his farewell tour.
That tour and the way he and his family dealt with the sometimes painful progress of his disease were chronicled in a 2014 documentary, “Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me,” directed by the actor James Keach. Former President Bill Clinton, a fellow Arkansas native, appears in the film and praises Mr. Campbell for having the courage to become a public face of Alzheimer’s.
At the height of his career, Mr. Campbell was one of the biggest names in show business, his appeal based not just on his music but also on his easygoing manner and his apple-cheeked, all-American good looks. From 1969 to 1972 he had his own weekly television show, “The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour.” He sold an estimated 45 million records and had numerous hits on both the pop and country charts. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005.
Decades after Mr. Campbell recorded his biggest hits — including “Wichita Lineman,” “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” and “Galveston” (all written by Jimmy Webb, his frequent collaborator for nearly 40 years) and “Southern Nights” (1977), written by Allen Toussaint, which went to No. 1 on pop as well as country charts — a resurgence of interest in older country stars brought him back onto radio stations.
Like Bobbie Gentry, with whom he recorded two Top 40 duets, and his friend Roger Miller, Mr. Campbell was a hybrid stylist, a crossover artist at home in both country and pop music.
He could be a cut-up in recording sessions. “With his humor and energetic talents, he kept many a record date in stitches as well as fun to do,” the electric bassist Carol Kaye, who often played alongside Mr. Campbell, said in an interview in 2011. “Even on some of the most boring, he’d stand up and sing some off-color country song — we’d almost have a baby trying not to bust a gut laughing.”
After playing on many Beach Boys sessions, Mr. Campbell became a touring member of the band in late 1964, when its leader, Brian Wilson, decided to leave the road to concentrate on writing and recording. He remained a Beach Boy into the first few months of 1965.
Mr. Campbell had his most famous movie role in 1969, in the original version of “True Grit.” He had the non-singing part of a Texas Ranger who joins forces with John Wayne and Kim Darby to hunt down the killer of Ms. Darby’s father. (Matt Damon had the role in a 2010 remake.) The next year, Mr. Campbell and the New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath played ex-Marines in “Norwood,” based on a novel by Charles Portis, the author of “True Grit.”
Mr. Campbell made his Las Vegas debut in 1970 and, a year later, performed at the White House for President Richard M. Nixon and for Queen Elizabeth II in London.
But his life in those years had a dark side. “Frankly, it is very hard to remember things from the 1970s,” he wrote in his autobiography. Though his recording and touring career was booming, he began drinking heavily and later started using cocaine. He would annoy his friends by quoting from the Bible while high. “The public had no idea how I was living,” he recalled.
In 1980, after his third divorce, he said: “Perhaps I’ve found the secret for an unhappy private life. Every three years I go and marry a girl who doesn’t love me, and then she proceeds to take all my money.” That year, he had a short, tempestuous and very public affair with the singer Tanya Tucker, who was about half his age.
He credited his fourth wife, the former Kimberly Woollen, with keeping him alive and straightening him out — although he would continue to have occasional relapses for many years. He was arrested in November 2003 in Phoenix and charged with extreme drunken driving and leaving the scene of an accident. He pleaded guilty and served 10 nights in jail in 2004.
I cried with many emotions when I first watched his documentary, I’ll Be Me.
And I’ll watch it again today with humility, respect and gratitude, to people like Glen and Ken.
In the UK each year roughly 20,000 people are hospitalised with food poisoning and 500 people die. Symptoms are unpleasant and include vomiting, diarrhoea and a high temperature, according to the NHS. There are a number of causes, including chemicals, toxins and bacteria. While it’s almost always an accident, food poisoning tends to affect people after they’ve eaten particular foods. According to the Australian Institute of Food Safety, this is because certain foods are more at risk of bacterial growth than others. Poultry Raw and undercooked poultry can be contaminated with campylobacter bacteria and salmonella. According to the Australian Institute of Food Safety, the bacteria can survive up until cooking kills them – so make sure you cook it thoroughly and don’t contaminate surfaces with raw chicken.
Cook poultry to an internal temperature of 74C (165F) to ensure safety, forget the jargon “cook thoroughly,”doesn’t tell me anything.
Eggs Last week it was revealed that Dutch eggs contaminated with insecticide may have entered the UK. They can also sometimes be contaminated with salmonella. You can avoid being affected by cooking eggs thoroughly, and avoiding foods that purposely contain undercooked eggs, like mayonnaises and salad dressings, according to the Australian Institute of Food Safety.
Leafy greens Because they are often eaten raw with no cooking process, bacteria like E.coli can easily affect you. However, according to the Australian Institute of Food Safety, washing them can reduce risk of harmful bacteria as well as chemical pesticides.
Well this all depends if the salad is pre-washed and labelled accordingly, if so, washing lettuce at home will only increase the risk of cross-contamination. Reducing the food safety risk with leafy greens begins well before it arrives in your home.
Raw milk This is where milk is unpasteurised, meaning it has not been heated up to kill harmful bacteria. It leaves you at a higher risk than regular milk of consuming bacteria like E.coli, salmonella and listeria.
Raw milk has always left an impression on me ever since I was a food tech in Alberta. The health department submitted a sample of raw milk from a community in Alberta where a significant number of kids became ill. I was responsible in analyzing the milk to determine the etiologic agent and I remember vividly looking at this black, overgrown agar plate, completely taken over by Campylobacter jejuni, poor kids.
Cheese A bacteria commonly found in cheese is staphylococcus aureus. It’s heat resistant, so the best way of avoiding cheese becoming contaminated is to store it at or under 5 degrees.