Infectious Diseases 2018

Infectious Diseases 2018

GAO: USDA should take further action to reduce pathogens in meat, poultry

21 April, 2018 The U.S. food supply is generally considered safe, but foodborne illness - such as salmonella poisoning -remains a common problem.
For some meat and poultry products such as ground beef, there are standards for how much harmful bacteria USDA can find when testing. However, some common products such as turkey breasts and pork chops don't have such standards. It's unclear how USDA decides which products to consider for new standards.
Also, GAO found that some of USDA's food safety standards are outdated, with no time frames for revision. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has developed standards limiting the amount of Salmonella and Campylobacter - pathogens that can cause foodborne illness in humans - permitted in certain meat (beef and pork) and poultry (chicken and turkey) products, such as ground beef, pork carcasses, and chicken breasts. Read More

A foodborne illness outbreak could cost a restaurant millions

Public Health Reports 2018 17 April, 2018 A single foodborne outbreak could cost a restaurant millions of dollars in lost revenue, fines, lawsuits, legal fees, insurance premium increases, inspection costs and staff retraining, a new study from researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests.
The findings are based on computer simulations that suggest a foodborne illness outbreak can have large, reverberating consequences regardless of the size of the restaurant and outbreak. According to the model, a fast food restaurant could incur anywhere from $4,000 for a single outbreak in which 5 people get sick (when there is no loss in revenue and no lawsuits, legal fees, or fines are incurred) to $1.9 million for a single outbreak in which 250 people get sick (when restaurants loose revenue and incur lawsuits, legal fees, and fines). Read More

Rose Acre Farms recalls shell eggs due to Salmonella

14 April, 2018 Rose Acre Farms of Seymour, Indiana is voluntarily recalling 206,749,248 eggs because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella Braenderup, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.
The eggs were distributed from the farm in Hyde County, North Carolina and reached consumers in the following states: Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia through retail stores and restaurants via direct delivery.
23 illnesses have been reported to date. Read More

South Africa: 3 avian influenza cases

14 April, 2018 South Africa's Department of Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development (READ) in North West confirmed three cases of High Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), in the area.
One case was detected in the quails that are hatched, grown and slaughtered on the farm. The second one was identified in wild ducks that were kept domestically as pets for recreational reasons. Read More

Final update: Salmonella in chicken salad kills 1, sickens 265 in 8 states

11 April, 2018 On February 21, 2018, Triple T Specialty Meats, Inc. recalled all chicken salad produced from January 2, 2018 to February 7, 2018. The recalled chicken salad was sold in containers of various weights from the deli at Fareway grocery stores in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and South Dakota from January 4, 2018, to February 9, 2018. CDC recommends people do not eat any remaining recalled chicken salad sold at Fareway grocery stores, including any that has been frozen. Throw it away or return it to the place of purchase. Even if some of the chicken salad was eaten or served and no one got sick, throw the rest of it away, including any chicken salad in your freezer. Put it in a sealed bag in the trash so that children, pets or other animals can’t eat it. Read More

Avian influenza hits duck farm in Bulgaria's Yambol

5 April, 2018 An outbreak of H5N8 avian influenza has been registered in a duck farm in the Bulgarian village of Zimnitsa near Yambol, in the country's southeast. All birds will be culled. Read More

Canada: Chicken nuggets recalled due to Salmonella contamination

30 March, 2018 The Public Health Agency of Canada says it has established a link between a recent outbreak of salmonella enteritidis and frozen raw breaded chicken products sold primarily in eastern Canada.
The agency says Harvest Creek Chicken Nuggets with a best-before date of Oct. 11, 2018 have been linked to the outbreak and are being recalled. Read More

South Africa: H5N8 outbreaks

28 March, 2018 South Africa has reported highly pathogenic H5N8 infection in ostriches, other captive birds, and a wild bird.
South African officials also reported an outbreak in October that involved backyard hobby geese and ducks in Western Cape province and an outbreak that began on Mar 11 in backyard hobby swans in North West province.
In wild bird H5N8 was detected in two swift terns found dead on Feb 21 in Eastern Cape province. Read More

USA: Trends of foodborne illness outbreaks from 2006 to 2017

24 March, 2018 The CDC is examining trends of foodborne illness outbreaks for 2017 and describes changes in incidence since 2006 in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) for March 23, 2018. Foodborne illness is a substantial health burden in the Untied States. In 2017, there were 24,484 infections, 5,677 hospitalizations, and 122 deaths attributed to food borne illness. Despite ongoing food safety measures in the United States, foodborne illness continues to be a substantial health burden. Compared with 2014–2016, the 2017 incidence of infections with Campylobacter, Listeria, non-O157 Shiga toxin–producing Escherichia coli (STEC), Yersinia, Vibrio, and Cyclospora increased. Read More

USA: Antibiotic-Resistant Infection Treatment Costs

Health Affairs 23 March, 2018 Antibiotic-resistant infections are a global health care concern. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 23,000 Americans with these infections die each year. Rising infection rates add to the costs of health care and compromise the quality of medical and surgical procedures provided. Little is known about the national health care costs attributable to treating the infections. Using data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, A new research estimated the incremental health care costs of treating a resistant infection as well as the total national costs of treating such infections. The study, which is the first national estimate of the incremental costs for treating antibiotic-resistant infections, also found that the share of bacterial infections in the United States that were antibiotic resistant more than doubled over 13 years, rising from 5.2% in 2002 to 11% in 2014. Read More

Highly pathogenicity avian influenza in Italy - 2018

23 March, 2018 Updates of the outbreaks of avian influenza in Italy. Read More

Canada: Salmonella outbreak linked to poultry in four provinces

19 March, 2018 Officials with the Public Health Agency of Canada is collaborating with provincial public health partners, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada to investigate an outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis infections in four provinces with cases of human illness linked to poultry, including frozen raw breaded chicken products.
Currently, there are 30 cases of Salmonella Enteritidis illness in four provinces: Alberta (2), Ontario (17), Quebec (7), and New Brunswick (4). Four individuals have been hospitalized. Individuals became sick between May 2017 and February 2018. Read More

The Netherlands: avian influenza at a duck farm

15 March, 2018 The Netherlands confirmed that avian influenza - H5N6 had been discovered at a duck farm in northeastern Overijssel province.
The outbreak was detected at a duck farm in Kamperveen village. 29,000 ducks will be culled by Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority.
36,000 chickens were culled for the same reason in Groningen province last month. Read More

Canada: A plan to reduce Salmonella illness risk

15 March, 2018 In the last 10 years the incidence of salmonella illness in Canada has steadily increased. This increase has been driven by Salmonella enteritidis (SE), the most common strain of salmonella in the food supply that is often associated with poultry.
Extensive efforts have been made by the federal food safety partners and the industry to increase consumer awareness that these products are raw and need to be fully cooked before consumption, as well as significant attempts by the industry to improve labelling and cooking instructions on packages. Despite these efforts, frozen raw breaded chicken products continue to be identified as a source of salmonella infection in Canada. Read More

USDA: Regionalization agreement with South Korea

15 March, 2018 The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced an agreement with the government of South Korea that significantly reduces negative impacts on trade should another detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) occur in the United States. The agreement will allow for trade restrictions at the state level instead of the country level during any future HPAI detections.
This action bolsters the already strong trade relationship between the United States and South Korea and will prevent a repeat of trade actions taken in 2015 when all U.S. poultry, poultry products and eggs were banned as a result of a detection of HPAI. Read More

Campylobacter in Scotland, 2017

14 March, 2018 Food poisoning cases from Campylobacter found in chickens are on the rise in Scotland.
Nearly 6000 people in Scotland were sickened by campylobacter in 2017, up nine per cent on the previous year, while confirmed cases of salmonella remained stable at 839.
The bug is believed to be the number one cause of food poisoning annually in the UK every year, and it has been estimated to claim 100 lives a year. Although it is most commonly found in poultry, it can also be passed to human through red meat, mushroom, shellfish, unpasteurised milk and untreated water. Read More

Salmonella in Scotland, 2017

14 March, 2018 During 2017, the Scottish Salmonella, Shigella and Clostridium difficile Reference Laboratory (SSSCDRL) reported 838 cases of human non-typhoidal Salmonella to Health Protection Scotland, which is very similar to 2016 when there were 839 reports, this had followed an increase in reports since 2014 when there had been 717 reports.
There were 247 reports of Salmonella Enteritidis in 2017 compared with 362 in 2016, a decrease of 32%. Despite the decline S. Enteritidis remains the most common serogroup accounting for 29% of reports in 2017.
Reports of Salmonella Typhimurium increased in 2017 by 42%, with 182 reports, compared to 128 in 2016, and remains the second most commonly reported serogroup accounting for 22%. Read More

A $6.5 million verdict in a lawsuit against Foster Farms

12 March, 2018 On March 1, an Arizona federal court jury returned a verdict in the amount of $6.5 million in favor of a 5-and-a-half-year-old child (Noah Craten) who suffered a brain injury because of a Salmonella Heidelberg infection from chicken produced by Foster Poultry Farms.
The case established that chicken producers like Foster Poultry Farms can be held responsible for Salmonella contamination on raw chicken product even though the USDA does not consider Salmonella a per se “adulterant” in raw chicken and even though the bacteria can be killed by cooking the chicken. The case sets an important precedent for food safety. Read More

Mexico: Two Outbreaks Of HPAI H7N3

12 March, 2018 The National Service for Agrifood Health, Safety and Quality (SENASICA) reported the finding of high pathogenicity avian influenza virus A/H7N3 in a rural and a backyard, which were depopulated immediately. SENASICA ordered the immediate depopulation of the rural property, located in San Felipe, Guanajuato, which had a population of 1,900 birds. In the property were located thousand 400 birds of the race Rhode Island and 500 chickens of term posture cycle, it is suspected that the latter infected the rest, because they were vaccinated, which is presumed to come from commercial farms in the area of Los Altos de Jalisco, where there is still circulation of the virus and that through irregular mobilization, were distributed by intermediaries. Read More

H7N1 in Texas

12 March, 2018 The outbreak in Texas was detected during preslaughter testing in a broiler breeder flock in Hopkins County, about 350 miles south of Missouri's Jasper County, where low-pathogenic H7N1 was reported last week at a commercial turkey farm.
Slight increase in mortality and a drop in egg production was reported in the breeder flock. Depopulation of the 24,000 birds at the farm has begun. Read More

Multistate outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium linked to chicken salad

10 March, 2018 As of March 6, 2018, 170 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Typhimurium have been reported from 7 states. Illnesses started on dates ranging from January 8, 2018, to February 18, 2018. Ill people range in age from 7 to 89 years, with a median age of 59. Sixty-six percent of ill people are female. 62 hospitalizations and no deaths have been reported. Read More

USA: H7N1 detected at Missouri turkey farm

7 March, 2018 APHIS has announced that a presumptive low-pathogenicity H7N1 was detected on a Jasper County turkey grow-out farm as a result of routine pre-slaughter surveillance. The flock of 20,000 birds is clinically unaffected and will be subject to "controlled marketing" under existing protocols. Read More

South Africa traces deadly listeria outbreak to meat product

5 March, 2018 Listeria bacteria was found at two Enterprise processed meat factories and one Rainbow Chicken polony factory in the Free State. Following the lead from tests performed on nine children under the age of 5 years presented to Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital with febrile gastro-enteritis and the food they had ingested, the EHPs (Environmental Health Practitioners), together with the NICD and DAFF representatives, accompanied by 3 technical advisors from the World Health Organisation in Geneva, visited a food-production site in Polokwane and conducted an extensive food product and environmental sampling. Listeria monocytogenes was isolated from over 30% of the environmental samples collected from this site, which happens to be the Enterprise factory in Polokwane. Whole genome sequencing analysis was performed from this Enterprise factory. The outbreak strain, ST6, was confirmed in at least 16 environmental samples collected from this Enterprise facility. Read More

Bulgaria: outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza

5 March, 2018 Bulgaria has reported an outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza virus on a farm in the northeastern district of Dobrich. Read More

Australia: Eggs are the strongest link to soaring salmonella cases in WA

2 March, 2018 During the second quarter of 2017 (2Q17), the Western Australian (WA) OzFoodNet team conducted surveillance of enteric diseases, undertook investigations into outbreaks and was involved with ongoing enteric disease research projects. The most common notifiable enteric infections in WA were campylobacteriosis (n=705), salmonellosis (n=622), rotavirus infection (n=236) and cryptosporidiosis (n=89). Compared to the applicable 5-year second quarter means (2QM), there were increases in notifications of campylobacteriosis (23%), salmonellosis (74%), rotavirus infections (134%) and cryptosporidiosis (21%).
The large increase in salmonellosis was primarily driven by an increase in S. Typhimurium MLVA type 03-17-09-12-523 notifications. Read More

Antimicrobial resistance in zoonotic bacteria

EFSA, ECDC 1 March, 2018 The new report from EFSA and ECDC focuses on zoonotic resistance, which involves infections and diseases that can be transmitted from animals to people or, more specifically, a disease that normally exists in animals but that can infect humans.The report highlights some emerging issues and confirms antimicrobial resistance (AMR) as one of the biggest threats to public health. AMR reduces the effectiveness of treatment options.Among the new findings, based on data from 2016, are detection of resistance to carbapenems in poultry, an antibiotic which is not authorized for use in animals, and of ESBL-producing Salmonella Kentucky with high resistance to ciprofloxacin in humans, which was reported for the first time in four countries. Read More

The Netherlands: H5N6 Avian influenza in Oldekerk

26 February, 2018 Avian influenza has been identified on a farm in Oldekerk in Groningen province and all 36,000 birds have been destroyed.
The strain involved is H5N6. Read More

South Africa: H5N8 in seabird species

19 February, 2018 The Department of Agriculture has confirmed that further incidences of highly pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza have been detected amongst Western Cape sea bird populations. Amongst African penguins, seven cases from six different sites across the provincial coastline have tested positive. Read More

Campylobacter in Scotland

17 February, 2018 The University of Aberdeen compared clinical strains of the pathogen from the Grampian area with strains isolated from chickens, cattle, sheep, pigs and wild birds. Campylobacter isolates were collected from clinical cases from Apr 2015 to Dec 2016 along with those from abattoir sampled whole birds (representing retail ready chicken) and caecal samples (representing the farm environment). Different strains were identified from the isolates obtained and molecular attribution models were used to attribute clinical isolates to specific host reservoirs. Campylobacteriosis in Grampian. Sensitivity analyses were performed in order to test the robustness of attribution models used. Read More

South Africa: the cost of avian influenza to industry

14 February, 2018 The highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N8) resulted in losses of R954m for the poultry industry, a report by the South African Poultry Association (SAPA) has revealed.
The total value of the industry is R46bn, but the losses have amounted to R954m.
The report showed that a total of 1,996,815 birds were killed. The loss attributed to the culling of birds was R307.15m. The Western Cape was most affected by the outbreak, as the largest number of outbreaks and commercial farms and the highest number of wild bird outbreaks were reported. A total of 3.3 million or 70.95% of the bird population was culled or recorded as dead.
In Mpumalanga it was 394,435 birds or 34.75% of the population, followed by Free State with 360,000 birds or 10.09% of the population. In Gauteng more than 415,00 birds or 7.26% of the population was culled or recorded as dead, and in KwaZulu-Natal the figure was 111,945 birds or 3.61% of the population. Read More

Recent outbreaks of avian influenza in France

14 February, 2018 Between December and February, four cases of H5N3 LPAI and five of H5 LPAI were reported in commercial duck farms in Gers, Loire Atlantique, Lot and Garonne, Morbihan and Vendee regions, and two H5N3 HPAI in turkey breeding farms in Maine et Loire, westand southwest France. The infected ducks did not present any clinical signs, the infection being detected by screening prior to moving into a gavage unit. In addition, a case of H5N2 LPAI was also detected in fattening ducks in the Landes region. Read More

China: 1st known human H7N4 avian influenza case

14 February, 2018 The Chinese National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) reported confirming a human case of avian influenza A (H7N4). According to the NHFPC, this is the first case of human infection with avian influenza A (H7N4) in the world.
The case involved a 68-year-old female patient living in Liyang in Changzhou of Jiangsu Province who developed symptoms on December 25, 2017. She was admitted to hospital for medical treatment on January 1 and was discharged on January 22. She had contact with live poultry before the onset of symptoms. All her close contacts did not have any symptoms during the medical surveillance period. Read More

Fareway chicken salad may contain salmonella

14 February, 2018 Consumers in five Midwestern states are being warned against eating chicken salad sold at Fareway stores that's been tied to multiple cases of salmonella illness.
Preliminary test results from the University of Iowa's state hygienic laboratory indicate Salmonella typhimurium is present in the product, which Fareway voluntarily pulled from its shelves. Read More

Israel: H5N8 in wild bird

7 February, 2018 Israel has reported a case of the highly pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza in a wild bird.
The virus was detected in a wild owl in Jerusalem that died after showing clinical symptoms. Read More

Iran reports H5N6 avian influenza

5 February, 2018 Iran has reported an outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N6 avian influenza virus among wild ducks in the north of the country. Read More

H5N8 in South Africa

2 February, 2018 South Africa reported several H5N8 outbreaks involving wild birds and commercial ostriches. 10 new outbreaks in a variety of wild birds found dead from Dec 27, 2017, to Jan 24. Nine of the findings were in Western Cape province, and one was in Eastern Cape province. Read More

The Netherlands: Novel highly pathogenic avian influenza A(H5N6)

EID, Vol 24, Number 4 - April 2018 31 January, 2018 A novel highly pathogenic avian influenza A(H5N6) virus affecting wild birds and commercial poultry was detected in the Netherlands in December 2017. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that the virus is a reassortant of H5N8 clade 2.3.4.4 viruses and not related to the Asian H5N6 viruses that caused human infections. Read More

UK: Antimicrobial resistance in Campylobacter from retail chilled chicken

15 January, 2018 The development and spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a public health concern worldwide. The use of antibiotics is important in treating infections and preventing disease from arising in both animals and humans. However, the overuse and/or misuse of antibiotics in both animal husbandry and healthcare settings has been linked to the emergence and spread of microorganisms which are resistant to them, rendering treatment ineffective and posing a risk to public health.
A Microbiological Survey of Campylobacter Contamination in Fresh Whole UK Produced Chilled Chickens at Retail Sale (2015-16), presents antimicrobial resistance data for a subset of those Campylobacter isolates collected as part of this survey. Read More

UK: H5N6 in Dorset

12 January, 2018 DEFRA has confirmed avian influenza (HPAI) H5N6 in 17 wild birds at Abbottsbury, Dorset - 15 in mute swans, 1 Canada Goose and 1 Potchard Duck. The strain is the European strain, as opposed to the Asian strain, which is not associated with humans.This strain has already been identified in dead wildfowl found recently in Holland and Germany. Read More

Japan: avian influenza

10 January, 2018 Japan's agriculture ministry reported a case of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Kagawa prefecture, western Japan. 100,000 broiler chickens are present at the farm.
Japan's last outbreak of avian influenza occurred in March. Read More

Avian Influenza A(H5N1) virus in Lebanon 2016

EID Vol 24, Number 2 - February 2018 9 January, 2018 In Lebanon, no cases of infection with avian influenza A(H5N1) virus were reported in poultry or humans before 2016. On April 20, 2016, the Lebanon Ministry of Agriculture confirmed the presence of avian influenza A(H5N1) virus on 2 poultry farms in Nabi Chit village located in the Bekaa region, adjacent to the border of Lebanon with Syria. The Ministry of Agriculture culled all domestic birds within a 3-km radius of infected farms. A total of 60,000 birds were culled from 7 farms (including the 2 infected farms) and 10 households with backyards. All farms were disinfected, and organic remains were disposed safely. Indemnity was provided to farmers by the Higher Relief Council. Read More

Chile: The largest Salmonella outbreak in years

9 January, 2018 Chile reports largest Salmonella outbreak in years, linked to homemade mayonnaise. Health officials in the Bio Bio Region of Chile are reporting a large outbreak of Salmonella that has affected 174 persons. The outbreak has been linked to homemade mayonnaise from the local “Dulce y Salado” in the city of Lota. Read More

Iraq reports outbreak of H5N8

8 January, 2018 Iraq has reported an outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza in Diyala in the center of the country.
The virus detected n Dec. 27 at a farm of 43,000 birds and killed 7,250 of them. Read More

Chicken still main source of campylobacter infections in Denmark

5 January, 2018 Almost half of all campylobacter infections in Denmark are caused by consumption of domestic chicken meat.Campylobacter is the leading cause of foodborne infections in Denmark. A total of 4,677 campylobacter infections were registered in 2016, but these are only the tip of the iceberg: estimates suggest that for every registered case of campylobacter, another 12 cases go unreported.
Researchers from the National Food Institute have produced a report for the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, which show what proportion of cases acquired in Denmark can be attributed to eight different food and environmental sources. Government and industry will use these data when designing the next Action Plan on Campylobacter. Read More