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.
One of the trendiest drinks of 2017 is the Moscow Mule: a refreshing mix of vodka, ginger beer and lime juice. Much of the cocktail’s appeal is down to the fact it’s often served in very Instagram-friendly copper-coloured mugs. But now a US state department has issued a warning that these pretty vessels could give you food poisoning if they have not been specially made for cocktails. The stark message comes from the state of Iowa’s Alcoholic Beverages Division, which has warned that copper and copper alloys are poisonous if consumed. When these metals come into contact with food or drink with a pH level lower than 6, copper may leak into the edible substance and can be accidentally consumed. The warning states: ‘High concentrations of copper are poisonous and have caused foodborne illness.’ The pH level of a Moscow Mule is well below 6, which is why Iowa and several other states have issued the warning as these cocktails are often served in copper mugs.
Symptoms of copper food poisoning can occur immediately which includes nausea, vomiting (green), diarrhea and can leave a metallic taste in the mouth.
Never a good idea to dispense high acid foods with anything copper but that drink sounds good.
It’s a question that has perplexed scientists: does diarrhea have a purpose?
That is, is diarrhea is a symptom of disease, or does diarrhea actually help clear the bacteria causing an infection.
Cecile Borkhataria of the Daily Mail reports that scientists have found in sick mice, proteins caused microscopic leaks in the intestinal wall that let water in, making the mouse poop looser and limiting disease severity.
The study, conducted by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), looked at the immune mechanisms that drive diarrhea.
Diarrhea can have many different causes, including infections, certain types of medications, too much caffeine or alcohol and many more.
It happens when there’s an excess of water in the intestines, which is normally re-absorbed by the body.
The intestinal wall is lined with cells, and some water can pass through the cells, holes in the lining or via junctions between the cells.
‘The hypothesis that diarrhea clears intestinal pathogens has been debated for centuries,’ said corresponding author of the study Dr Jerrold Turner of the BWH Departments of Pathology and Medicine.
‘Its impact on the progression of intestinal infections remains poorly understood.
‘We sought to define the role of diarrhea and to see if preventing it might actually delay pathogen clearance and prolong disease.’
To conduct the study, the researchers used a mouse infected with a bacteria called Citrobacter rodentium – the mouse equivalent of an E. coli infection.
Within two days of the mouse being infected, the researchers saw an increase in the permeability of the mouse’s intestinal barrier – leading to water entering the intestines, causing diarrhea.
This occurred well before inflammation cellular damage of the intestines.
The researchers discovered two new proteins involved in causing diarrhea – interleukin-22 and claudin-2, which humans possess too.
They found that when the mouse was infected, immune cells travelled to the intestinal wall and produced interleukin-22.
Interleukin-22 binds to cells on the intestinal wall, causing the release of another protein called claudin-2.
It’s claudin-2 that causes the leak in cellular junction in the intestinal wall, allowing water to enter it and cause diarrhea.
The researchers tested three different kinds of mice – regular mice, genetically modified mice that produce large amount of claudin-2, and mice that didn’t make any claudin-2.
The regular mice had diarrhea when they got sick, and the mice that made more claudin-2 always had diarrhea.
The mice that didn’t make any claudin-2 had more e injuries to their intestinal lining, and they still had diarrhea because it seemed as though their immune system attacked the cells help make some diarrhea.
In related poop news, Rob Knight, one of the founding fathers of gut microbiome research, in 2012, used the crowdfunding platform FundRazr to coax more than 9,000 volunteers into first donating money, and then sending samples of their poop through the mail. A team of researchers probed these samples for bacterial DNA to create the first census of the 40 trillion or so bacteria that call our guts their home.
Kyle Frischkorn of the Smithsonian quotes Knight, who directs of the Center for Microbiome Innovation at the University of California at San Diego, as saying, “You get an ongoing input of microbes from your environment—microbes you eat on food itself.”
One of the mysteries sparked by the American Gut Project was why two people who claimed to follow the same diet could have such different communities of gut microbes. For the study, volunteers had self-reported their diets, with the vast majority following omnivorous diets, and less than 3 percent each identifying as “vegetarian” or “vegan.” When researchers crunched the numbers, however, they found no discernible correlations between gut communities and those with seemingly similar diets.
“Diet categories were completely useless and didn’t correlate with the microbiome communities at all,” says Knight.
In other words, the bacteria in poop were telling a different dietary story than the people making that poop. “You can be a vegan who mostly eats kale, or you can be a vegan who mostly eats fries,” Knight explains. “Those have totally different consequences for your microbiome.” Anyone can claim to be a die-hard adherent to the Paleo Diet, it seems, but the data suggested that the microbiome remembers all those midnight ice cream transgressions.
Knight realized that the results of the American Gut Project were missing something crucial: A deeper dive into the food we eat. Filling that gap would mean analyzing all the food going in, and seeing how it correlated with the patterns in what comes out. But while collecting poop was, in some sense, straightforward—each person “submits a sample” in the same way—tallying up all the many foods people eat would be a lot more ambitious.
Every time you ingest, you change the interior landscape of you. Because the bulk of bacteria in the microbiome live in the gut, when we feed ourselves, we feed them too. The chemistry of what we eat, be it fries or kale, alters the chemical landscape of the gut, making it more cozy for some and less hospitable for others.
It gets livelier. Because microbes are everywhere—on the table, in the air, on the surface of the muffin you left out on the counter—you’re also adding new microbes to the mix. Some stroll through your body like polite tourists. Others stick around and interact with the locals. Every bite has the potential to alter the microbiome, and subsequently human health. But researchers have yet to figure out how.
That’s because, until now, we didn’t have the platform to embark on the massive endeavor of collecting and analyzing food samples from around the world. Thanks to the American Gut Project, Knight and his team aren’t starting from scratch. Initially, the researchers plan to collect 1,000 samples from every brick of the familiar food pyramid, and then they’ll open it for the public to submit whatever foods they’re curious about.
“We know about calorie count, and about different food groups, but the whole world of the molecules and the microbes in our food is a black box,” says Julia Gauglitz, a post-doctoral researcher at the Center for Microbiome Innovation who will direct a new project. As the old adage goes, “we are what we eat,” she says. And yet, when you get down to the microscopic level, “we know very little about what we’re consuming.”
Everything we eat is the cumulative product of the chemistry and microbes in the soil where it was grown, the factory where it was processed, and whatever you touched right before you ate it. Why is that important? Ultimately, the team hopes, demystifying the microbial patterns in our food will help us better engineer our diets to improve our health and ward off disease.
Knight draws a historical parallel to the discovery of essential nutrients. In the last century, researchers figured out that industrially processed foods had become nutrient-depleted. By artificially adding vitamins and minerals back in, deficiency diseases like rickets and beriberi were largely eliminated from the Western world. Similarly, understanding the health effects of the microbiome could allow us to engineer those missing microbes back into our meals.
“It’s fairly likely that our modern lifestyles are stripping out a whole lot of live microbes that we need to maintain health,” says Knight. “Getting an understanding of that could be as important as the understanding that vitamin C is necessary and making sure that everyone got enough of it.”
When I was an undergrad, about 1984, when I didn’t have labs in the afternoon – which I did 3 days a week – I’d toddle home to Neeve St. in Guelph (that’s in Ontario, Canada, as I explained to a new neighbor I met on the morning walk to school today) and cross the train tracks to the strip club to eat lunch and read the paper (this was before, ipads, iphones, computers, whatever, we all bled the ink).
I didn’t really pay attention to the strippers.
I never went at night, because it was full of drunk bogans.
The Border Herald reports that a popular strip club in Jacksonville, Florida has been closed until further notice after several dancers contracted diarrhea last Friday night. The cause of the incident, which remains under investigation, has been initially linked to a contaminated buffet at the venue. While the investigation continues, the venue has not been named.
According to reports by local media, the strip club was nearly full on Friday night when the incident occurred, and both staff and customers were reported to have eaten from the free buffet, which included the usual selection of ribs, chicken and deep-fried shrimp.
While the results of the lab analysis are yet to come back, one source familiar with the investigation told reported that bad shrimp was the most likely cause is the diarrhea. “Typically shrimp are involved in cases like this, particularly when they are not cleaned thoroughly.”
That’s bullshit. It’s improper holding temperatures, probably Staph or C. perfringens (I spell it out so I can commend myself on being able to spell it). Or noro.
Patrons at the venue who were sitting near the stage were the most directly affected by the incident, which occurred close to 11pm. According to a witness at the venue, three dancers were performing on separate poles when the first sign of trouble emerged.
“At first I picked up a bad smell; I thought maybe the guy next to me had farted,” said the witness, who declined to be named. “However, the smell got worse and I noticed that a lot of other guys were looking around to see what it was.”
It was at this point the first dancer to suffer from diarrhea was unable to control her bowels any longer, and ‘a stream of brown liquid soon gushed over the stage,’ according to the witness. “It was absolutely disgusting,” he told journalists. “A number of guests immediately puked. I personally ran for the exit, I lost all interest in the show.”
The other dancers on stage also suffered from diarrhea soon after and were forced to abandon their performance. “They had a hard time getting off the stage,” said one witness, who stayed to watch after the incident. “High heels and diarrhea really don’t mix.”
Some guests who had been enjoying the show also contracted diarrhea and there was a rush on the men’s bathroom, which unfortunately did not have enough stalls to cope with the sudden influx in demand.
Cleaners who were hired to deal with the mess reportedly were shocked at the condition of the venue. “Strip clubs are generally dirty places, but this was on a whole new level,” said one of the cleaning staff. “In my time, I’ve seen faeces in a urinal once or twice, but never in the sinks.”
In an effort to compensate customers for the incident, the venue’s management took to social media to offer free entry to any guests who had been at the club on Friday night. Management also noted that the free buffet will not be available until further notice.
Saturday is World Toilet Day, a serious effort by the United Nations focusing on the fact that one-third of the world’s population — or 2.4 billion people — have no toilet at home. A third of those people are children. They are vulnerable to disease, malnutrition and other major problems because there is no clean way of going to the bathroom where they live.
People living in present-day Scotland and Pakistan built the first indoor toilets about 4,500 years ago. Pipes carried the waste outdoors. Knossos palace, built 3,700 years ago on the island of Crete in the Mediterranean, had some of the first flush toilets. They used rainwater and water from nearby springs. A wooden seat kept users dry.
Medieval castles had toilets built high on an outside wall. There was a stone seat at the top, and gravity took care of the rest. Often the waste dropped into the castle moat. People living in towns, meanwhile, collected their waste in what were called chamber pots, and they emptied them by heaving the contents out a window. Public lavatories, which were not common at the time, were often just several toilet holes in a row built over a river.
In 1596, England’s Sir John Harington designed a flush toilet with a handle and a raised water tank. He said using it would leave rooms smelling sweet. He gave one to his godmother, Queen Elizabeth I, who didn’t like it. Instead, she used a pot in a box covered in velvet and trimmed with lace. The idea of an indoor flush toilet didn’t catch on until 200 years later.
The word “toilet” comes from the French “toile,” meaning “cloth.” It referred to the covering on a lady’s dressing table and, over time, to the dressing room itself and the primping that went on there. (Wealthy people in the 17th and 18th centuries often had rooms at home just for getting dressed.) In the 19th century, “toilet” got its modern meanings: the place where bathing and other private acts occur and the bowl into which human waste is deposited.
Over time, chamber pots and toilet bowls got fancier and fancier. One such pot, sold during the American Revolution, had an image of Britain’s King George III at the bottom of the bowl.
Thomas Jefferson, who used flush toilets while he was the U.S. ambassador to France in the 1780s, had three small rooms for toilets built at Monticello, his home in Virginia. But there is no proof that they were true flush toilets. And because most American homes did not have running water until a century later, the widespread use of flush toilets came later as well.
“We registered our company in 2002 and obtained approval from the trademark office in Beijing,” said Zhong, referring to Shenzhen Trump Industrial Company Limited, which mostly manufactures high-tech toilet seats.
“If (U.S. President-elect Donald) Trump thinks our trademark violates his rights and interests, he can use legal methods because our company observes China’s laws,” CEO Zhong told NBC News, adding that he is prepared to defend his company’s legal rights to the Trump brand name.
In Chinese, the company name means “innovate universally.”
That’s the idea behind Poo Haiku, a competition created by Defeat DD, a campaign dedicated to the eradication of diarrheal disease.
Although everybody’s had the runs, it’s not something most folks talk about, says Hope Randall, digital communications officer for PATH’s Center for Vaccine Innovation and Access, which created DefeatDD to bring together resources on vaccines, nutrition, oral rehydration therapy, sanitation and more.
Kat Kelley of the Global Health Technologies Coalition, which references a recent study published in The Lancet:
Just six pathogens
But eighty percent of kids’
Randall herself penned an entry:
A vicious cycle,
Gut damage, malnutrition
We can halt the churn.
And from Doug Powell:
Take a dump on Trump
I won’t change my toilet’s name
Is your poo orange too.
(Depends whether the word orange is one syllable or two.)
Chipotle’s stock price sits is currently down around 40% off its 52-week high, as the outbreak news hurt sales more than had been expected. The company has advised investors that it could be a few rocky quarters before Chipotle sees a definitive, positive improvement.
In an effort to bring back some of the customers it’s lost, Chipotle co-CEO Monty Moran said Wednesday it will be doubling the amount of free food restaurants can give away to its customers, reports CNBC.com.
The New York Times says, with a straight face, Chipotle’s new mantra is “Safe food, not just fresh” while gushing that, “From its start in 1993 as a burrito stand in Denver opened by a young Culinary Institute of America-trained chef who borrowed money from his parents, Chipotle now has more than 2,000 locations. Its stock nearly doubled over the last five years, and in August the company reached a market value of $23 billion.
“Chipotle emphasizes fresh, locally sourced ingredients. It was the first major chain to reject genetically modified food. Chipotle has embodied the notion of doing well by doing good.”
That’s not doing anyone any good.
It’s marketing BS.
Consumers aren’t so dumb or confused. Chipotle said same-store sales dropped a greater-than-expected 14.6 percent in the last quarter, and analysts have been scrambling to downgrade their ratings. On Tuesday, Chipotle shares dipped below $400 and were down 47 percent from the August high.
Two of the incidents, the one in Simi Valley, Calif., in August that sickened 234 people, and another in Boston in December, which affected at least 136 customers, were linked to a norovirus, a highly contagious virus that causes gastroenteritis. It is spread through contact with an infected person, a surface bearing the virus, or by contaminated food.
Chipotle has said both outbreaks were caused by sick employees who ignored strict policies prohibiting them from coming to work and, without elaborating, said that disciplinary measures were meted out to those responsible.
Anyone can say they have strict policies (Heston-norovirus-isn’t-my-fault Blumenthal comes to mind) but verification, that takes effort.
In August, 64 people were treated for salmonella after eating at a Chipotle in Minnesota. Fresh tomatoes were identified as the culprit.
Chipotle shares have jumped nearly 14 percent over the last two days after company executives gave an upbeat presentation to investors, bankers and analysts at the ICR investor conference in Orlando, Fla., where they predicted the brand would regain its luster and reiterated an aggressive expansion and growth plan.
Ninety-one police trainees were hospitalized Friday due to diarrhea in Surigao City, a belated police report said on Tuesday.
Superintendent Daniel Puesca, information officer of the Caraga regional police office, reported to the National Operation Center in Camp Crame said that 50 members of Public Safety Field Training Program (PSFTP) class 2015-02 were rushed to the regional hospital at around 6 p.m. Friday
Another 41 trainees were later taken to the same hospital after also complaining of stomachache after they were given first aid by the staff of the training school.
As of Tuesday, Puesca said the Surigao City health office of the DOH are still working to determine the cause of the diarrhea and water samples have been taken by the regional hospital. The results on the water testing are expected in a week.
Results of rectal swabs and stool examinations conducted on the patients will also be sent to Metro Manila for confirmation.
Chelsea’s star forward Eden Hazard is no joke. Having created more chances to score last season than any other player in the Premier League, it’s no wonder people have compared him to La Liga greats Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Or that he was voted the league’s Player of the Year last season. Quite frankly, Hazard is intimidating to his opponents — even Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany, who jokingly said on Friday that he hopes Hazard comes down with messy intestinal issues so that he wouldn’t be able to play on Sunday.
“You’d almost hope that Eden Hazard would have diarrhea,” the defender told Belgium’s Het Nieuwsblad this week (via the Guardian).