Human poop scattered on Vancouver grass patch

Most people in Brisbane think Canada ends at Vancouver, or maybe Banff.

I always thought Vancouver was a dump, and still do.

So do others.

Kenneth Chan of Daily Hive writes, This is not a sight you would expect immediately across the street from the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre Hotel in downtown.

But if you look closely into a narrow patch of overgrown grass between the sidewalk and the bike lane on the south side of Helmcken Street between the laneway south of Burrard Street and Hornby Street, you will see excrement.

To be more precise, you will see hundreds of large pieces of what appears to be human poop.

Daily Hive was tipped off by a health worker at St. Paul’s Hospital who uses the sidewalk next to the grass patch on a regular basis to walk between their office and home.

“Human poop looks different than dog poop,” said the worker who wished to remain anonymous. “I have heard other people talking about the human poop too, mostly people walking in the area. I have also seen human poop in the garden outside my office and on a park bench that is outside the building, which is not something a dog would do.”

“It’s not like I’m counting or keeping track of the quantity, though I have to say this is the most poop-covered stretch of grass I have ever seen, but the accumulation seems to happen overnight.”

Keep reptile–human interactions safe

While the contribution of the main food-related sources to human salmonellosis is well documented, knowledge on the contribution of reptiles is limited.

reptile–human interactionsWe quantified and examined trends in reptile-associated salmonellosis in the Netherlands during a 30-year period, from 1985 to 2014. Using source attribution analysis, we estimated that 2% (95% confidence interval: 1.3–2.8) of all sporadic/domestic human salmonellosis cases reported in the Netherlands during the study period (n = 63,718) originated from reptiles.

The estimated annual fraction of reptile-associated salmonellosis cases ranged from a minimum of 0.3% (corresponding to 11 cases) in 1988 to a maximum of 9.3% (93 cases) in 2013. There was a significant increasing trend in reptile-associated salmonellosis cases (+ 19% annually) and a shift towards adulthood in the age groups at highest risk, while the proportion of reptile-associated salmonellosis cases among those up to four years-old decreased by 4% annually and the proportion of cases aged 45 to 74 years increased by 20% annually.

We hypothesise that these findings may be the effect of the increased number and variety of reptiles that are kept as pets, calling for further attention to the issue of safe reptile–human interaction and for reinforced hygiene recommendations for reptile owners.

Increase in reptile-associated human Salmonellosis and shift toward adulthood in the age groups at risk, The Netherlands, 1985 to 2014

Eurosurveillance, Volume 21, Issue 34, 25 August 2016, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2016.21.34.30324

L Mughini-Gras, M Heck, W van Pelt

http://www.eurosurveillance.org/ViewArticle.aspx?ArticleId=22564

‘Tropical’ parasite emerges in Canadian Artic

An outbreak of an intestinal parasite common in the tropics, known as Cryptosporidium, has been identified for the first time in the Arctic. The discovery was made in Nunavik, Quebec, by a team from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC), in collaboration with the Nunavik Department of Public Health, Institut National de Santé Publique du Québec and Health Canada. The discovery, which was documented in the journalPLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, could have long-term implications for the health of children in Nunavik and Nunavut’s communities. 

crypto.hominis“We were very surprised to discover this strain of Cryptosporidium in the Artic, which is more typically seen in low-income countries than elsewhere in North-America,” says the study’s senior author, Dr. Cédric Yansouni, who is Associate Director of the J.D. MacLean Centre for Tropical Diseases at the MUHC and Professor of the Division of Infectious Diseases in the Department of Medical Microbiology at McGill University. 

Cryptosporidium is a microscopic parasite that lives in the intestine of mammals, including humans, and is transmitted by the fecal-oral route from ingestion of contaminated food or water or contact with infected individuals.

The researchers examined an outbreak of Cryptosporidium that occurred between April 2013 and April 2014 across 10 villages in Nunavik. In close collaboration with the clinical teams on site, the researchers were able to identify that the strain was Cryptosporidium hominis, which is spread from human to human and usually found in tropical countries.

“We are being particularly vigilant because it is known in low-income countries that repeated Cryptosporidium infections can cause growth delays and difficulty at school in children.  In the Nunavik outbreak, children under the age of five were the group most affected by the infection,” explains Dr. Yansouni.

There is a treatment for Cryptosporidiosis in the United States and in other countries where the disease is found, but at present the treatment is only available in Canada under a special access program.

“What we observe in the Arctic, as in any other remote region, reminds us about the limitations of the healthcare system in terms of access to diagnosis facilities,” says Dr. Yansouni, who suspects that there are many unreported cases of infection. 

The study Cryptosporidium hominis Is a Newly Recognized Pathogen in the Arctic Region of Nunavik, Canada: Molecular Characterization of an Outbreak was co-written by Karine Thivierge (first author), Asma Iqbal, Brent Dixon, Réjean Dion, Benoît Levesque, Philippe Cantin, Lyne Cédilotte, Momar Ndao, Jean-François Proulx and Cedric P. Yansouni (main author). 

Concern with humans; FDA starts testing pet food for salmonella

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has begun a year-long nationwide effort to test pet food for salmonella contamination, but the key concern is not the health of dogs and cats — it’s of their owners.

FDA investigators began in October taking samples of dry pet food, pet treats and diet supplements from distributors, wholesalers and retailers like PetSmart, PetCo, WalMart, Costco, Sam’s Club and Target.

People turning to dog food for nourishment is "an urban legend," said Duane Ekedahl, president of the Pet Food Institute, but the FDA said in a memorandum released this week that it is "particularly concerned about salmonella being transmitted to humans through pet foods, pet treats and supplements for pets that are intended to be fed to animals in homes, where they are likely to be directly handled or ingested by humans."

The agency pointed to CDC data that show 70 people got sick from January 2006 through December 2007 in connection with salmonella-tainted dry dog food produced in Pennsylvania.

About $8 billion worth of dry dog food, $2 billion worth of dog treats, $3.7 billion worth of dry cat food and $427 million worth of cat treats were sold in the U.S. last year, according to Euromonitor International, a market research company.

From the achieves: Doug Powell and Randy Phebus talk about salmonella in pet food in 2008.

Poop in playgrounds: E. coli scare shuts Redwood City Park sandboxes

Two years ago, Christopher Beth, director of the Redwood City Parks, Recreation and Community Services department, received an anonymous tip about a couple of children getting sick after playing in the sandbox at Stafford Park. He decided to order tests.

“We’d never tested the sand before,” Beth said. “Other cities say they don’t test either. There’s no requirement.”

The results showed high levels of E. coli bacteria. Since then, a similar problem was discovered at Maddux Park. The sand play areas at both parks are being replaced with water features, officials said, and the renovations should be done by mid-January.

The sand features at all the other Redwood City parks were tested, and just Maddux came up with an E. coli problem. The source of contamination was feline feces in one case and human feces in the other.

Feeding lizards: Salmonella sickens in 17 states, linked to frozen mice, rats, chicks

Mice Direct is an on-line provider of reptile food including frozen rats, mice and chicks with the motto, ‘direct to your door, cheaper than the store.’

Mice Direct may have to modify its other motto, ‘Frozen means added animal safety’ because the human lizard owners are possibly getting sick from handling the frozen critters, like mice hoppers, left, at $28 a bag.

The company announced a recall of the frozen rats, mice and chicks Tuesday, saying that human illnesses possibly related to the frozen reptile feed have been reported in 17 states.

The company says the recall is based on Food and Drug Administration sampling of the frozen mice.

Check out the Mice Direct experience through the video below.
 

Sadie, Salmonella and humans eating pet food

Sadie saved my marriage.

That’s dramatic but I have a flair for drama.

Sadie was about 10 weeks old when I found her one Saturday morning under our vehicle.

Amy and I had recently moved into our Kansas compound, we had some people over, things didn’t go well, we had a, uh, dispute, and the next morning things were still festering. I packed my knapsack, which always has everything important, and was headed out the door for a long, long walk.

I found this pup under the truck.

I’d seen her running around in our yard about 5 a.m. but didn’t think much of it.

Now, the whimpering pup was glued to my heel.

Sadie had been well-cared for but ultimately abandoned, a not-uncommon occurrence in a student and military town. We took her in and realized our quarrels weren’t all that terminal.

Former Kansas State president Jon Wefald loved the story of Sadie. I would often see him around campus, walking our two dogs after accompanying Amy to her office, and he would always ask about the story of Sadie.

One time, there was an outbreak of Salmonella in pet food going on and a bunch of humans had gotten ill as well. The Pres asked how humans could get sick from pet food, and I explained about cross-contamination, and that some people ate pet food.

He didn’t believe me.

So here is a video of Jessica Pilot sampling human grade dog food. Some people do eat pet food.