1 child dead, 14 sick from E. coli O26 in French ‘Our regions have talent’ raw milk cheese

Outbreak News Today reports on a statement from the French abouthe Escherichia coli ( E. coli ) O26 outbreak linked to the consumption of raw milk reblochons produced at the Cruseilles (Haute-Savoie) site of Chabert. French health officials are now reporting 14 children aged one to five years included in the investigation.

As of May 31, 6 children with HUS were infected with the same strain of E. coli O26, for which the consumption or reblochon incriminated is documented. These six children are domiciled in several regions of metropolitan France (Center-Val de Loire, PACA, Ile-de-France, Auverhne-Rhone-Aples, Pays-de-la-Loire); and for 8 other children, investigations are in progress. Of these, two had signs of gastroenteritis and six had HUS. One of the children with HUS died; the investigation around this case is in progress. To date, it cannot be dismissed or affirmed that these cases of HUS are linked to the consumption of reblochon: non-isolated and characterized strain, or consumption of reblochon incriminated not yet documented.

1 dead, 42 sick: E. coli outbreak linked to pork products in Alberta declared over

On Friday, Alberta Health Services said the E. coli outbreak linked to certain pork products in the province was officially over.

AHS started investigating a number of confirmed cases on March 29.

The outbreak was connected to some pork products sold and distributed by The Meat Shop at Pine Haven. Several other businesses were impacted since they used the affected pork products and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) issued a food recall.

In total, there were 42 lab-confirmed cases of E. coli linked to this outbreak.

Thirteen patients needed medical treatment at the hospital and one person “died likely due to infection with E. coli,” AHS said.

“Our thoughts remain with the family of the patient who died and all of those affected by this,” said Dr. Jasmine Hasselback, medical officer of health for the Edmonton zone. “We would like to thank our federal and provincial partners for their collaboration on this investigation.”

Ireland daycare closes over E. coli outbreak

A community creche in Co Monaghan has been closed over an outbreak of shiga-toxin producing E.coli infection among children and staff.

Ballybay Community Creche was forced to close following the outbreak, to limit the spread of the infection. All children and staff members are due to be screened to see if they have picked up the infection.

Drinking E. coli for science

There’s just not enough grad students willing to go deep and shield professors from abusive partners, bail their professors out of jail, coach girls hockey or drink E. coli for the sake of science.

Rachael Rettner of Live Science reports that in a new studdy, volunteers downed a cup of E. coli, for science.

Their fortitude paid off. Scientists were able to study an important question: whether a person’s blood type affects the severity of an “Enterotoxigenic E. coli” infection, the leading cause of traveler’s diarrhea.

It turns out, there was a difference in severity by blood type: Those with blood type A got sick sooner, and experienced more severe symptoms, than those with blood type B or O, the researchers said. [Top 7 Germs in Food that Make You Sick]

What’s more, the study uncovered an explanation for these findings: It appears that the bacteria release a protein that attaches to intestinal cells in people with blood type A, but not in people with other blood types.

The new finding might one day lead to the development of a vaccine that could reduce disease severity in people with type A blood. “A vaccine targeting this protein would potentially protect the individuals at highest risk for severe disease,” study senior author Dr. James Fleckenstein, an associate professor of medicine and molecular microbiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, said in a statement.

The study was published online (May 17) in The Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Original article on Live Science.

E. coli strikes teen in Paris

The Lake Geneva teen who returned home last week after an E. coli diagnosis overseas described his experience and thanked supporters in a pair of videos Monday. 

Nathan Dyer started feeling sick during a trip to Morocco and was taken to a Paris hospital where he was in a coma for a period of time. Doctors later diagnosed him with E. coli. 

He returned home where he is still recovering. He’s feeling neurological and physical effects of being in a coma. Doctors in Paris said he should make a full recovery. 

Oh, and E. coli doesn’t work that fast. It takes a couple of days.

Book chapter: McDonald’s is not the source of most foodborne illness. It’s a fairy tale.

7 children sick with E. coli O26: France’s Leclerc recalls ‘Our regions have talent’ cheese

French food retailer Leclerc has issued a recall of a brand of cheese made with raw milk that has been linked by the authorities to cases of E.coli O26 among young children.s

Leclerc, France’s biggest supermarket chain by market share, said on its website that it was withdrawing Reblochon cheese supplied by cheesemaker Chabert in the Savoy region and sold under the “Nos regions ont du talent” (“Our regions have talent”) brand.

The move came after the French health authorities linked seven cases of E. coli O26 bacteria among children between one-and-a-half and three years to the cheese, which is a creamy speciality of the French Alps.

“The investigations conducted by the health authorities have confirmed an epidemiological link between these cases and the consumption of whole Reblochon cheese made with raw milk under the brand and sold by the Leclerc chain in several regions,” France’s health and agriculture ministries said in a joint statement.

The ministries said that six of the seven cases of infection involved hemolytic-uremic syndrome, a potentially serious condition that can cause kidney failure among young children.

Six children were taken to hospital and one is yet to return home, the health ministry added in an emailed response.

If six of the seven cases have HUS, there are dozens more that are sick.

E. coli O26 triggers recall of cheese sold in Avoca, Ireland

A notice issued on the Food Safety Authority of Ireland’s website read: “Following detection of shiga toxin-producing Eschericia coli O26 in a raw milk cheese, the above batch of Camembert de Normandie cheese is being recalled by La Fromagerie du Plessis.

“A point-of-sale recall notice is displayed in Avoca stores which sold the affected batch advising customers not to eat this batch.”

The affected product is the Camembert de Normandie au lait cru, 250g with approval number FR 14 608 001 CE.

The batch code is 260218DS0 with a use-by date of May 2, 2018.

Pennsylvania family coping with daughter’s E. coli death

Jaccii Farris of 69 News reports a community rallies around a Bucks County family who is dealing with a heartbreaking loss.

They say their preschool-aged daughter died because of the E. coli bacteria.

Someone close to the Robert family started a YouCaring page to help with medical expenses after three members of the family were stricken by the bacteria back in April.

The pictures of the family of four posted on the site are from a happier time. 

Now, members of the community are coming to their side at their darkest hour.

According to the website, on April 15th the Robert’s son Tyler was hospitalized at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia with a strain of E. coli that impacts the kidneys.

But soon after he was admitted, his mother and sister Hailey became ill.

Hailey was also admitted to CHOP.

Over the next two weeks, the family posted daily updates. Tyler was doing better, but Hailey was struggling.

May 2 came the hardest post a mother could make. Hailey lost her battle against the bacteria.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health confirms that an E. coli death occurred at CHOP, but would not name the victim due to HIPAA.

Officials say the death is not related to the recent E. coli cases associated with lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona region. 
Bucks County family loses daughter to E. coli

Melboune beware: Shit with dangerous E. coli can survive a long time in river sediment

Bed sediment resuspension is a potential source of faecal microorganisms in the water column of estuaries. As such, it is important to identify the survival of faecal microorganisms in these bed sediments and understand how bed sediment resuspension impacts the quality of estuarine waters.

This study explores the effect of bed sediment resuspension on Escherichia coli on concentrations in the water column and the persistence of E. coli in the water column and bed sediments of the Yarra River estuary in South‐Eastern Australia. Using sediment cores, we identified that the resuspension of both surficial sediments (e.g., by tidal movements) and deeper bed sediments (e.g., by large storm events) can increase E. coli concentrations in the water column by up to 20 times in estuaries in oceanic climates. Bed sediment resuspension can result in increased E. coli concentrations in the water column even up to 24 days after E. coli first enters the estuarine water.

This study demonstrates that faecal microorganisms, such as E. coli, can persist for extended periods in estuarine bed sediments, which may then be re‐entrained into the water column via recreational activities, high flow events, or tidal fluctuations. If the survival and resuspension processes observed here hold true for pathogenic microorganisms, the resuspension of bed sediments may indeed represent an increased public health risk.

Escherichia coli survival and transfer in estuarine bed sediments

C. Schang, A. Lintern, P. L. M. Cook, G. Rooney, R. Coleman, H. M. Murphy, A. Deletic, D. McCarthy

https://doi.org/10.1002/rra.3281

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/rra.3281

The silence from the leafy greens lobby is deafening: A tale of two women with E. coli

A listing of 78 outbreaks linked to leafy greens since 1995 is posted here.

Maggie Menditto, the executive administrator of the McDowell Foundation for social justice, writes in the New York Times that before my illness, I was a healthy 22-year-old just out of college. But at some point, my doctors speculated, I must have eaten leafy greens contaminated by E. coli bacteria.

My mother had driven me to my local emergency room in the middle of the night after several days of unbearable abdominal cramps and a startling amount of blood coming out of new and terrifying places. The doctor on call thought it was probably just a bad case of colitis.

As the sun began to rise, I was asked if I’d like to go home and take Imodium or if I’d like to stay in the hospital. Given the severity of my pain, I was surprised that I was even given a choice. I allowed myself to be wheeled upstairs with a needle in my vein administering a steady stream of antibiotics, a common treatment for colitis.

But that weekend, I took a turn for the worse, throwing up every hour until there was nothing left in my system but sticky green bile. An infectious disease doctor was called in, my stool sample tested, and I was finally given a diagnosis of E. coli infection.

Doctors don’t know for sure how I became infected with E. coli — at the time, last October, the outbreak tied to romaine lettuce was still several months in the future — but we do have some clues. I’m a vegetarian, so we know it didn’t come from eating meat. Although none of my family members got sick, my father also tested positive for E. coli. The only food we remembered sharing was a batch of arugula from a local farmers’ market about five days before I became ill, making it the most likely culprit.

The antibiotics were immediately stopped, as they have been linked to an increased likelihood of developing dangerous complications from the bacterial infection. But by then the signs were already beginning to show. My platelet count was dropping at a dangerous rate, my kidney function had begun to falter. I had developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a life-threatening complication of E. coli infection.

I was treated to the first ambulance ride of my life to transfer to Georgetown University Hospital, where I would remain hospitalized for the next 33 days.

In the critical care unit, I was strapped into several machines that would monitor my vitals. The next morning, a doctor came in and inserted a temporary access catheter into the right side of my neck. I was wheeled down to a lower level of the hospital for the first of my six plasmapheresis treatments, a particularly draining experience in which blood was removed, cleaned and then returned to my body via a large tube in my neck.

A team of hematologists, nephrologists, infectious disease specialists and a general physician visited every morning. They’d ask, “How are you feeling, Frances?”

Everyone knows me as Maggie, but in an annoying quirk of my hospitalization, my medical records and wristband all bear my legal name, Frances. “One name for each grandmother,” my mom reasoned when my parents decided to christen me Frances Margaret. An unintended consequence of their thoughtfulness is that I have spent much of my life correcting people who called me Frances. “It’s Maggie, short for Margaret, my middle name,” I said.

But in the hospital, it helped to have a second persona. Frances put on a brave face during the hours of treatment in sterilized facilities, while Maggie drew inward, refusing books and music or anything else that reminded me of who I was outside the hospital walls. From where I sat, pinned to machines by the needles in my veins, in a body I hardly recognized, and with a label on my wrist displaying a name that wasn’t mine, I couldn’t be sure that it was me this was really happening to. I listened patiently as doctors and nurses and technicians came into my room to offer Frances their well wishes, draw blood, or discuss what medications she should take or what procedures might make her body strong once more.

During my first week of hospitalization, the kidney doctors debated whether to begin the dialysis process, sticking to the typical “wait-and-see” approach. But by the end of the week there was no question. I had gained 30 pounds from all the excess fluid and could hardly stand up and walk on my own. I began my first of many three-hour-long dialysis treatments, where they siphoned off the liquid, doing the work of my kidneys that I had so long taken for granted.

I had mostly avoided social media since getting sick, but one day, I logged onto Facebook to see that across the country, people I knew and people I didn’t — a pair of girls I once babysat for, a football team in Rhode Island — were praying for Maggie, hoping Maggie pulled through. The more people that worried about me, the sicker I must be, I thought.

The dialysis continued for three weeks with tiny but measurable results. My platelet counts began to climb, and I started to pee again. But it wasn’t enough to impress the nephrologists, who decided to surgically place a catheter in my chest, to both drain and administer fluids.

Doctors began discussing a kidney transplant and temporary home-care dialysis training. I was sent home for a weekend to rest up before my first training for an eventual dialysis machine to be brought to my parents’ house, but we didn’t get that far. I went to bed after dinner and woke up in an ambulance racing back to the hospital I had just left. My blood pressure had begun a dangerous rise as my kidneys began to start working again, and I had the first of three seizures that night.

The next few days are mostly lost from memory, but some hazy images survive. Waking up in a tube to discover I was getting an M.R.I. A nurse delicately pulling glue from my hair from where the technicians had inserted sensors. My hospital bed being wheeled out of the operating room after the catheter was removed from inside my chest. The sharp lines of the white hallway walls, every corner offering a shadowy descent into someone else’s hospital story.

Through my half-closed lids, I see a rare pocket of sunlight at the end of the corridor. Briefly I feel the warmth of its gaze as we trek on through the seemingly endless maze of the hospital’s hallways and locked doors. The dryness in my mouth is the first clue that I’m back in my body, that my kidneys have begun to heal themselves at an admirable pace.

My mom finds me soon after, as I’m attempting to drink water from a clear plastic straw. She reaches out and holds it in place. The nurse comes in to tell us that it all went well, that Frances’s vitals look good, that we’ll be ready to transfer her back upstairs soon.

“She goes by Maggie,” my mom says.

“Oh, I’m sorry,” the nurse says, glancing down at her chart before stepping back into the hall, “Maggie.”

I turn to smile at my mom. It doesn’t matter what they call me anymore. She holds my hand as we’re guided back upstairs to my hospital room for the last time.

Sometimes now, in my apartment, on the train, while walking down a crowded street, I like to run my fingers over the fresh scars lining my collarbone. Now that the toxins have left my system, now that my body has built itself back up, I have only the scars to remind me that Frances was tested, that Maggie survived. That it really happened to me.

Altoona, Penn. Area High School student Mia Zlupko was shocked when doctors told her some scary news.

“All the doctors came in, and it was kind of like a big surprise like ‘It’s E. coli,'” Mia said.

The 16-year-old is a dancer who enjoys eating healthy. It’s not uncommon for her to grab a salad from the store, which is exactly what she did earlier this month. However, after eating it she became sick and was throwing up with abdominal pain.

“It was a scary process and I wouldn’t want to go through it again,” she said. “I know everyone else wouldn’t want to go through it.”

After four days in the hospital no one could figure out what exactly was wrong.

Just as Mia was heading home she learned her diagnosis. A relief for her mom Tina.

“Had we not gone back to the doctor and then gone to the emergency room, she could have gotten much sicker very quickly,” Tina Zlupko explained.

Now the teen is hoping to share an important message with others so no one else has to go through what she did.

“I’m definitely more aware and I want other people to be aware about it,” Mia said.

The CDC advisory now includes chopped and bagged romaine lettuce, as well as whole heads and hearts of romaine lettuce.

So far at least 64 people have been infected in 16 states. Pennsylvania is one place that has been hit the hardest with at least 12 people infected.

Officials think the outbreak is coming from Yuma, Arizona. They warn people not to eat any romaine lettuce unless you know where it’s from.