Canberra gets a lot of gastro

For a nation’s capital – Canberra, that’s in Australia – with all those public servants preaching handwashing and sanitation, they get a lot of gastro.

CT Health has warned of the potential danger of gastroenteritis after a North Canberra childcare centre has been hit with the virus.

handwashing.sep.12Chief Health Officer Dr Paul Kelly said a handful of staff and children had been infected since he was first notified last Thursday.

It was the first outbreak of 2016 to involve ACT Health.

A Canberra woman was one of 150 people who fell ill on a musical cruise in October featuring Australian and international stars and Opera Australia performers.

Six months earlier, a Canberra nursing home was in lockdown after the diagnosis of gastroenteritis in a number of residents, leading to restricted access for family to visit residents.

Fifty-three students caught the virus after an ANU end of year celebration at Burgmann College in 2014.

ND: Outbreak of illness at Cass jail sickens more than 100 inmates overnight

Fargo Public health and law enforcement officials are investigating an outbreak of illness that sickened more than 100 inmates at the Cass County Jail overnight Tuesday.

fargo1The first inmates started reporting mild symptoms like upset stomachs and diarrhea, said Cass County Sheriff’s Sgt. Tim Briggeman.

By 6 Tuesday morning, 110 of the jail’s 282 inmates had reported the same symptoms.

Jail staff treated all inmates on site, and none has reported their symptoms getting worse, Briggeman said.

The sheriff’s office has reported the outbreak to the North Dakota Department of Corrections, and is investigating the outbreak along with officials from Fargo Cass Public Health.

Stomach bug sweeps 49ers world titles

I didn’t know David Gilmore was a sailor.

49er_skiff.svgA stomach bug has many sailors at the 49er world championships off Buenos Aires battling bouts of vomiting and diarrhea.

“We don’t really know why everyone is getting sick, but at least a third of the fleet has come down with stomach pains, diarrhea and vomiting,” said Australia’s Olympic gold medallist Nathan Outteridge.

Outteridge’s crewmate Iain Jensen was among those hit by the bug.

Outteridge said the water wasn’t clean and recent thunderstorms and rain had pushed filth onto the race course, which most sailors hadn’t expected in Argentina.

“In Rio everyone knows it’s dirty and takes precautions accordingly and looks after themselves, whereas here everyone gets told it’s just muddy water, but there’s a lot of filth in there as well,” he said.

With one more day of racing before the fleet splits for the men’s skiff 49er finals series, Outteridge and Jensen sit 17th, while Joel Turner and Lewis Brake are in 23rd.

David Gilmour and Rhys Mara follow in 27th, and Will and Sam Phillips are ranked 28th.

Gastrointestinal outbreak confirmed at Canadian psycho ward

The London Health Sciences Centre (that’s in Canada) is in the midst of a gastrointestinal outbreak.

No Title ProvidedAM980 has confirmed an Alert Level Two outbreak has been called for gastrointestinal illness. The outbreak is confined to the 7th floor of the psychiatric ward at Victoria Hospital and the LHSC sent out a memo to staff.

This is the latest issue for the psychiatric ward, which just last week added security guards and visitor restrictions in the wake of what administration calls “an unacceptable level of safety for both our patients and staff.”

Medical Director of Infection Prevention and Control, Dr. Michael John, tells AM980 there have been at least four cases.

Cruise ship sickness/norovirus outbreaks lowest in 14 years

The number of gastrointestinal illness (GI) outbreaks, including norovirus and enterotoxigenic E. coli, on cruise ships fell to the lowest level in 14 years in 2014.

vomit cruiseThe CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) website contains detailed reports about the outbreaks on cruise ships from 1994 to 2015. The CDC considers it an outbreak anytime 3% or more of the passengers and crew members report diarrheal symptoms onboard a vessel of at least 100 passengers on sailings that are 3 days or longer.

There were nine reported outbreaks of GI on 7 different cruise ships in 2014, tying 2013 with the lowest number of outbreaks since 2001. When you take into consideration that the number of cruise ships is at a record high, this past year saw the lowest percentage of outbreaks on cruise ships since 2001.

Georgia school closed due to viral outbreak

A Newton County elementary school closed Friday because of a virus outbreak.

OAK HILL copyNewton County School officials say the large number of students at Oak Hill Elementary School have shown symptoms of gastroenteritis.

The health department recommended closing the school, cleaning it thoroughly and monitoring students who have become ill.

Symptoms of the virus include diarrhea and vomiting. The health department says the symptoms usually develop 24-48 hours after exposure. Most people get better in one to 10 days without medication.

Parents received letters about the closure Thursday night.

Channel 2’s Amy Napier Viteri spoke to one parent who said she picked up her child early and she saw several sick kids at the school.

Marie Cruse said the school sent her daughter, Anzlee Mandrona home early when she wasn’t feeling well after lunch.

“They went ahead and sent her home for precautionary measures, which was fine because we understand. We’d rather be safe than sorry,” Cruse said. “It’s a really bad virus it lasts anywhere from 1 to 10 days.”

100 sick: Food poisoning outbreak at Australian dog track; maybe the mayo?

More than 100 people have been struck down by a gastro outbreak at the Sandown Park Greyhound Racing Club in Melbourne’s south-east.

sandown-greyhound-racing-club-a4-bi-fold-brochure-design-ringwood-graphic-design-3Teachers and students were among the 100 people who fell ill following a valedictory function for Wantirna Secondary College at the club’s function centre last Wednesday.

Four people, including two teachers, needed hospital treatment for dehydration.

The club was closed for commercial cleaning the following day, but more people reported suffering vomiting and diarrhoea after attending the greyhound races on Friday night.

Marissa Notley, 50, said she felt ill just hours after attending a buffet dinner at the club for greyhound racing’s Melbourne Cup.

She said she ate lasagne, rice, chicken, potato, pumpkin, caesar salad and a small serving of tortellini.

“I felt unwell on that night … I went home and had cramps in my stomach and I didn’t have much of an appetite the next day,” Ms Notley said.

“By late Saturday night I was vomiting and had diarrhoea.”

Ms Notley said six other people who sat at her table had also fallen ill.

“That fact that people got sick the Wednesday night before has angered me a little a bit more,” she said.

Department of Human Services spokesman Bram Alexander said authorities were yet to identify the cause of the outbreak.

He said the department was testing samples to determine whether the outbreak was the result of a virus, or contaminated food.

Gastro outbreak among G20 cops

Dr Jeannette Young’s worst nightmare may be coming true.

In the days leading up to the G20 summit in Brisbane, Dr. Young, Queensland’s medical officer of health, warned that foodborne illness was a much bigger threat than terrorism.

g20.securityToday at least 15 police officers in Brisbane have come down with a suspected case of gastro on the eve of the G20 Leaders’ Summit.

“We are getting on top of that very quickly to prevent it from spreading,” Dr. Young told reporters.

“When you’ve got large groups of people, particularly living in hotels and going to similar restaurants, we just want to sort this out quickly.”

In 1984, the Pope visited the restored 350-year-old Jesuit mission of Ste. Marie-among-the-Hurons in Midland, Ontario (that’s in Canada). After departing,1,600 hungry Ontario Provincial Police officers who had worked the ropes gathered for a boxed lunch. Of those 500 officers who chose ones with roast beef sandwiches, 423 came down with salmonella.

Those officers have shown, over the years, that a touch of the flu — as foodborne illness is often mistakenly called– is more than a couple of days praying at the porcelain goddess of foodborne illness.

Some 5-10 per cent of those police officers have developed reactive arthritis that will plague them for life.

Bacterial bombs for a noro outbreak? Australian nursing home given the all-clear

Oh, Bundaberg, we’ve been there and like your rum, but really, 35 residents and 27 staff at an aged care sickened by norovirus?

Bundy-TM-Logo“The staff did a great job in containing the outbreak,” service manager Hazel Lindholm said.

“It could have been a lot worse.”

The service deployed “bacteria bombs” in its fight against the dangerous virus that swept the facility – a new best-practice infection control solution used across Churches of Christ Care for the past 12 months.

Mr Mason said the bombs had received “exceptional results” for the health and wellbeing of clients in the past.

The bombs release a fog which permeates through all surfaces and furnishings in a room, including down drains and plugholes.

They attack dangerous pathogens including norovirus and H1N1 influenza, with no viruses remaining following a treatment.

“The bombs, which we use in conjunction with normal scrubbing of floors and surfaces as part of infection control procedures, offer cost and time benefits eliminating the need for staff to wash the curtains, bedding and clothing for each resident in each room, which is particularly time consuming and inefficient during an outbreak situation,” Mr Mason said.

Careful with those beets; raw grated beetroot linked to several outbreaks of sudden-onset gastrointestinal illness, Finland 2010

Aussies like their beetroot – what North Americans would call beets. They’re plentiful at the markets and I’ve roasted beetroot and shredded it into salad. McDonald’s has a new Aussie lamb burger, and toppings include an egg, onion, lettuce, some sort of goop and beetroot.

The American novelist Tom Robbins wrote an ode to beets in 1984’s Jitterbug Perfume:

“The beet is the most intense of vegetables. The radish, admittedly, is more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent not of passion. Tomatoes are lustly enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. Beets are deadly serious…. The beet is the murderer returned to the scene of the crime. The beet is what happens when the cherry finishes with the carrot. The beet is the ancient ancestor of the autumn moon, bearded, buried, all but fossilized; the dark green sails of the grounded moon-boat stiched with veins of primordial plasma; the kite string that once connected the moon to the Earth now a muddy whisker drilling desperately for rubies.”

People in Finland may have a different impression of beetroot (I’m sorry, I don’t do impressions).

According to a new paper in Epidemiology and Infection, in 2010, 7/44 (16%) reported foodborne outbreaks in Finland were linked with raw beetroot consumption. In the seven outbreaks, 124 cases among 623 respondents were identified. Consumption of raw beetroot was strongly associated with gastrointestinal illness (relative risk 8·99, 95% confidence interval 6·06–13·35). The illness was characterized by sudden onset of gastrointestinal symptoms; the median incubation time was 40 min and duration of illness 5 h. No common foodborne pathogens or toxins were found in either clinical or beetroot samples, but all tested beetroot samples were of poor quality according to total bacterial counts. Beta-haemolytic Pseudomonas fluorescens was detected in several beetroot samples but its effect on human health is unknown. No outbreaks were reported after the Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira advised against serving raw beetroot in institutional canteens.