From France to Kansas City: foodborne illness in schools

Several headmasters from the Haute-Garonne and Tarn primary schools in France simultaneously informed the health authorities of the occurrence of digestive disorders of low severity among students.

A retrospective cohort study, conducted through self-administered questionnaires among approximately 3,000 students and teachers who had participated in two meals in 36 schools concerned, was initiated to confirm the existence of a foodborne outbreak and its origin. …

This large-scale foodborne outbreak illustrates the main factors that encourage the occurrence of foodborne outbreaks (multiple malfunctions in the preparation of meals), and stresses the importance of associating the epidemiological, veterinary and microbiological investigations in the early management of the alert, as well as the first management measures (eviction of sick personal) to avoid major consequences in collective catering.

Meanwhile in Missouri, two Lee’s Summit kindergarten students have been hospitalized with salmonella.

The kids, a boy and a girl, have been enrolled in Richardson Kids Country during the school year. The Health Department has not determined if their illness is related to the school.

Maureen Dowd gets food poisoning; thanks White House

N.Y. Times columnist Maureen Dowd refers to President Bush dismissively, by his middle initial, and has been vastly less than impressed by his efforts in the Middle East.

Nevertheless, White House aides and medical staff leaped to help Dowd when she fell ill during Bush’s eight-day swing through the Middle East.

Once she arrived in Jerusalem Jan. 8, Dowd fell sick — and started second-guessing her decision to leave the campaign trail for the presidential bubble abroad. She was suffering some kind of stomach bug that left her nauseated, weak and feeling feverish.

Dowd was quoted as saying, "I’m not sure it was a New Hampshire fever or Jerusalem food poisoning." The story notes that  Presidential aides, including press secretary Dana Perino, made clear early on that Dowd could see Richard Tubb, the Air Force brigadier general who oversees the White House medical office and takes care of the president at home and abroad.

But Dowd declined. With no medication, she tried to soldier on by grabbing whatever rest she could in her hotel room. Dowd finally decided to take up the White House on its offer.

A young press aide, Carlton Carroll, helped arrange for Dowd to visit Tubb at the Emirates Palace, the $3 billion luxury hotel where the president and his aides were staying. The hotel is so vast that Dowd and her escorts got lost twice in the marble and gold hallways.

Tubb gave her a few tablets of Cipro and some Pepto-Bismol and told her to check back with him the next day. She turned down Tubb’s offer of an IV (so there was no chance of an "accidental" poisoning, she joked).

On Sunday, when the entourage flew from Bahrain to the United Arab Emirates, Dowd was supposed to be flying on the press charter, without access to Tubb. But the White House made room for her aboard Air Force One, where she visited the doctor once again in his office near the president’s.