Everyone experiments in college: Florida State University hit with at least 22 cases of hand, foot and mouth disease

Florida State University is trying to contain an on-campus outbreak of an illness typically seen at day care.

fsu-hand-foot-mouth-diseaseAt what point did universities evolve from the ridiculously overpriced day cares they currently are (for young adults and most faculty)?

A university official told NBC News that as of Friday afternoon, there have been 22 total cases of hand, foot and mouth disease — a highly contagious virus in which sores develop in the mouth, and a skin rash with blisters appears on the hands and soles of the feet.

“I’m thinking we’ve got probably one more little spike [in cases], then hopefully it will have worn itself out,” said Lesley Sacher, executive director of university health services at the Tallahassee school.

The illness starts with a fever and sore throat, followed by painful mouth sores a day or two later, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some people don’t get symptoms but are still contagious.

It’s most often seen among infants and toddlers at day care centers who have a lot of direct skin contact as they play, but it’s not unheard of in adults.

And it’s easy for any infection to spread quickly in college dorms, particularly this time of year as students adjust to life in a dorm surrounded by others in close proximity, said Dr. Frank Esper, pediatric disease specialist at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland.

“We see spikes in certain types of infections during that transition period. It’s one of the reasons we have a meningitis shot that is specifically targeting individuals going into dormitories,” he said.

Hand, foot and mouth is caused by Coxsackie A16 virus, a member of the enteroviruses family. Enteroviruses tend to thrive in the fall, but Esper said they can happen any time of the year.

8 sick with E. coli O26: Children’s nursery in Ireland closed

The Irish News reports a children’s nursery in Co Down has been closed following an E. coli outbreak.

daycare_children_pictures_242_op_800x533Eight cases of the E. coli O26 infection have been identified in children who attend the nursery.

The Public Health Agency (PHA) is investigating and confirmed that preliminary test results suggest there may be additional cases.

Dr Neil Irvine, consultant in health protection at the PHA, said: “We are working with colleagues in environmental health and staff in the nursery to identify the source of infection and to help prevent transmission to other children.

“As a precautionary measure, the nursery has been closed for a deep clean and samples taken from all children. The children will be excluded from nursery until negative samples are provided.”

Dr Irvine said people should follow some simple rules to help prevent the spread of E. coli, such as washing hands after using the toilet and before eating or preparing food. He said people with vomiting or diarrhoea should remain at home for 48 hours after last symptoms appear.

If it was so bloody simple, then why do so many get sick?

86 kids sick from 2 Alabama day cares

The Alabama Department of Public Health is now investigating reports of widespread illness after 86 children, all sharing similar symptoms, were seen at three Montgomery hospitals. The children attended two different day care centers in the area.

daycare_children_pictures_242_op_800x533Thirty children were hospitalized with symptoms of lethargy, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and cramps. All but one child has been discharged.

A kitchen at the Sunnyside Child Care Center has recently been closed for the investigation. The kitchen prepares meals for more than 300 children who attend the two day care centers.

Parents whose children attended these day care centers and became ill are advised not to use any day care providers as the investigation continues.

E. coli at SC day care: delays and violations

The Learning Vine on Overland Drive in Greenwood, S.C. at the center of an E. coli outbreak, has multiple health and safety violations pending correction, according to the state Department of Social Services’ Division of Early Care and Education.

e.coli.myles.mayfieldLearning Vine shut down voluntarily on Monday following the death of 2-year-old Myles Mayfield, of Greenwood, who died from hemolytic uremic syndrome, a condition associated with E. coli that can lead to kidney failure.

Since Myles’ death, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control confirmed that there are eight cases of E. coli connected to Learning Vine. 

The violation areas pending correction are:

– Diaper changing, 24-month and younger room (x2)

– Improper medication practices

– Sanitation violations (x3)

– Facility restrooms (x2)

– Feeding, 24-month and younger room

– Food safety/menu

– Posted information

– Other health and safety

Meanwhile, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) officials released a timeline Wednesday of their investigation.
DHEC says it’s been investigating fatal Greenwood E.coli cluster since May, but a nearly three-week gap between the reported diagnoses meant it took a month before they linked the outbreak to a daycare center.<

1 dead, 7 kids sick from E. coli at SC day care

South Carolina health officials say an eighth case of E. coli has been traced to a daycare center that’s now temporarily closed.

e.coli.myles.mayfieldThe South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control said Monday evening that there are now eight confirmed cases of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) associated with The Learning Vine daycare in Greenwood County. That comes after seven confirmed cases were reported on Sunday night.

An investigation began after 2-year-old Myles Mayfield (right), a boy who attended The Learning Vine, developed an E. coli infection. Mayfield died from complications after developing hemolytic uremic syndrome.

On Sunday, officials said four of the cases have bacteria of the same strain. Two of the seven individuals with confirmed E. coli cases are hospitalized, DHEC said.
wistv.com – Columbia, South Carolina

193 Bosnian preschool children suffer food poisoning

Authorities in Bosnia’s capital have declared a food poisoning epidemic after nearly 200 preschool children became sick at public day care centers in Sarajevo.

Sarajevo SarajevoLocal health minister Emira Tanovic-Mikulec declared the epidemic on Monday.

Lab tests show that the food the children ate last week was infected with Salmonella enteridis.

About 2,900 kids eat food prepared in a central kitchen that supplies the 29 centers in Sarajevo.

The symptoms started last Wednesday when macaroni with cheese and eggs was on the menu.

8 sick; Salmonella strikes UK nursery

Several children who attend the same Dundee nursery have been hit by salmonella.

The Evening Telegraph reports eight children at Technotots Nursery in Brunel Road, Wester Gourdie Industrial Estate, were struck down with the bacteria last month.

As yet the investigation has not revealed what caused the salmonella dirty.jobs.daycare.e.coliinfections but the owner of Technotots denies it originated in the nursery.

Angela McGoldrick, owner of Technotots Nursery, said: “It was a secondary infection and there was no point or service associated with the nursery, which means the salmonella has not originated from us but has come from elsewhere.

“The first case was on September 13. When it increased to two we took certain precautions and environmental health came into the scene.”

Day care, institutions in Toronto didn’t have food safety disclosure; now they sorta do

“We put our children and our parents and people who are ill in these institutions,” said Canadian food safety expert Doug Powell. “We’ve got captive the most vulnerable people, and if there isn’t dinesafegoing to be a high level of food safety there where will you find it?”

Sort of a garbled quote, but valid.

In an accompanying story, I said, “All outbreaks should be documented so residents and their families can figure out if there are repeat offenders out there to stay away from.”

Restaurant disclosure icon Robert Cribb of the Toronto Star and a team of students from Ryerson University found that 12 years after the introduction of Toronto’s red-yellow-green DineSafe disclosure program, food inspection records for nursing homes, hospitals, daycares and school cafeterias were never publicly reported.

In June, shortly after the Ryerson/Star investigation, Toronto Public Health began releasing a two-year history of inspection results online.

“You guys get the credit for pushing us to disclose,” said Toronto Public Health food safety manager Jim Chan. “The questions toronto.red.yellow.green.grades.may.11regarding disclosure of the institutions played a role in this.”

While the information is now gradually moving online, the institutions, which are provincially licensed, will still not be subject to the city bylaw that compels restaurants to post green, yellow or red signs at their entrances indicating their latest inspection results.

The public has to hunt the information online on the DineSafe website.

The feature has many examples of shoddy food safety in places for our most vulnerable. Check it out at http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2013/08/14/ontario_to_open_up_toronto_institutions_foodsafety_records.html.

7 sick; report says E coli outbreak at nursery in Scotland linked to dirty nappies

One child remains in hospital almost five months after seven people were struck down with E. coli O157 at the Rose Lodge Nursery in Aberdeenshire in May.

The mother of the 22-month-old boy still hospitalized who has lost his sight, has severe hearing loss, complete kidney failure and partial brain damage, said through her solicitor “the report does not answer anything for her.

“The mother has been permanently residing in the hospital complex to care and attend to the child and is at the hospital from about morning until late evening seven days a week.

“She specifically wants the public reminded about how aggressive E. coli 0157 can be.

“She believes that she and the child have been forgotten about and that she is very angry about that.”

The report by NHS Grampian on the outbreak yesterday revealed that one of the possible reasons for the spread of the infection was staff failing to wash their hands properly after handling nappies.

However, the report said that the bug could have been passed on through private drinking water contaminated with animal feces from nearby fields, or due to issues with hand hygiene at a relative’s home.

The bug originated in the baby unit of the Aboyne nursery, which cares for 35 children. Four infants, one relative and two members of staff were all struck down with E coli O157.

The report advised the nursery to stop the use of a communal bowl for handwashing in the baby room and said the water at a sink in the nappy-changing area might have been too hot for effective handwashing. It also warned staff of the potential for contamination of the nursery floor from parents’ shoes.

An NHS Grampian spokesman said: “If the parents require any further clarificiation, they should contact the health protection team. We will be happy to meet them to discuss their concerns.”

A communal handwashing bowl when surrounded by poop – baby poop? If I was a parent taking my kid to that daycare, I would have said something. I know the parents and staff hate me at Sorenne’s school for being such a microbiological stickler, but this is why people have to speak up – before there’s an outbreak.


Day care nightmare: crypto sickens 24 kids in Spain, new outbreak in Australia

A cryptosporidium outbreak has emerged in Cairns, Queensland (that’s in Australia) with 51 cases in a month when the usual number of yearly cases was below 20.

"If you’ve got 51 cases confirmed in a lab, chances are there are hundreds out there," Public Health medical officer Dr Steven Donohue said.

In the letter, Dr Donohue instructed day care centres to exclude children with diarrhea until they have not had symptoms for 48 hours.

He also recommended that swimming pools at day care centres be disinfected with adequate chlorination or refilled after each session.

Queensland Health is also in the process of notifying swimming pool operators about the health risk, Dr Donohue said.

"We’re not blaming the pools but they are a known factor in magnifying the outbreak," he said. "The pool operators should be very careful to make sure children with diarrhoea or dirty nappies are not in pools."

In other crypto news, Artieda et al report in Eurosurveillance that on 24 November 2011, some smart pediatrician in the Basque Countr of northern Spain notified the epidemiological surveillance service of Gipuzkoa of a child with diarrhea in whose stools oocysts of Cryptosporidium had been isolated, as well as of an unusually large number of children with diarrhea who attended the same day-care center as the first child. All were tested for Cryptosporidium.

Investigators concluded that from October to December 2011, an outbreak of 26 cases of cryptosporidiosis occurred in a day-care centre in Gipuzkoa, Spain. The infection spread from person to person and affected 24 children under two years of age (attack rate: 38%) and two caregivers. Cryptosporidium oocysts were observed in 10 of 15 samples. During 2010, only four cases of cryptosporidium were detected in Gipuzkoa, and 27 overall in Spain.

At the time of the study, 63 children between 0 and two years of age attended the day-care, as well as the staff that consisted of six caregivers. There were 39 1–2-year-olds in classroom 2 (ground floor) and classrooms 3 and 4 (first floor), 13 in each. In classroom 1 (ground floor) and classrooms 5 and 6 (second floor), there were 24 0–1-year-olds, eight in each. A total of 24 children fell ill (attack rate: 38.1%), and only three of them were in the group of 0–1-year-olds. Children shared some activities by age group. Two caregivers also fell ill. In the microscopic analysis, Cryptosporidiumspp. oocysts were isolated in 10 of 15 stool samples, and no other enteropathogen was found in any of the samples studied.

In addition, an environmental investigation was also undertaken by the local public health technicians. Information on hygiene practices and water usage was collected. The investigation detected deficiencies in hygiene procedures in the day-care centre. Single use paper towels were not available in any of the risk areas.

As soon as the outbreak was confirmed, strengthening of hygiene measures was recommended to the staff of the day-care center, and they were asked to advise taking children to their pediatrician in the event of more cases. The recommended measures involved correcting the above-mentioned deficiencies, improving compliance with universal hygiene rules and, given the characteristics of the microorganism (resistance to chlorine), cleaning surfaces with 3% hydrogen peroxide. All measures recommended were implemented within 24-48 hours.

A letter was sent to the parents informing them of the outbreak and advising good hygiene practices. In addition, they were told that those with diarrhea must not to use public swimming pools or other recreational water facilities for the duration of the outbreak.

The full report is available at http://www.eurosurveillance.org/ViewArticle.aspx?ArticleId=20070.