NEWS SCAN: E coli outbreak grows, hatchery-linked Salmonella , DRC cholera outbreak

Jun 8, 2012

E coli outbreak with unknown source grows to 14 cases, 6 states
An Escherichia coli outbreak whose source is unknown has now grown to 14 cases, including 1 death, in six states, according to media reports today. A 21-month-old girl died in Louisiana, and the outbreak strain of E coli O145 has sickened 13 others in Louisiana, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, and California, Food Safety News (FSN) reported. Three patients have been hospitalized, and illness onsets ranged from Apr 15 to May 12, according to a statement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "The investigation is looking at both food and non-food exposures," the CDC said, according to FSN. The largest cluster, five adults from 18 to 52 years old, is centered in Atlanta, home to the CDC, ABC News reported today. A CNN story said all those cases are mild. Officials are trying to establish a common source in the outbreak. "We know that these cases are all linked, and that would suggest that there was a common source somewhere along the way," J. Patrick O'Neal, MD, of the Georgia Department of Health told ABC. "We just don't know where." The O145 strain is one of six additional E coli strains included in a recently expanded federal testing program for beef trim.
Jun 8 FSN article
Jun 8 ABC News story
Jun 8 CNN story
May 29 CIDRAP News story on expanded beef trim testing

CDC reports 30 more cases in Salmonella outbreak linked to hatchery
Another 30 Salmonella infections have been identified in an outbreak linked to chicks and ducklings from an Ohio mail-order hatchery, bringing the total to 123 cases in 25 states, the CDC reported yesterday. The initial outbreak announcement on May 30 cited 93 cases in 23 states. The 30 new cases are in 14 states, with May 22 as the latest illness onset date. In cases with available information, 26 of 62 (38%) patients were hospitalized. "One death has been reported in New York, but it is unclear whether infection contributed to the death," the CDC said. Of 66 patients who were interviewed, 57 (86%) said they had had contact with live chicks and ducklings before they got sick, and all 42 patients who had purchase information reported they had bought the birds from Mt. Healthy Hatchery in Ohio. A Salmonella outbreak with 68 cases last year was traced to birds from the same hatchery, previous reports said. The current outbreak involves three Salmonella enterica serotypes: Infantis, Newport, and Lille.
Jun 7 CDC update

DRC cholera outbreak tops 19,000 cases, kills nearly 400
A cholera outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has grown to more than 19,100 cases and almost 400 deaths this year and is well on its way to topping last year's totals, according to IRIN, the United Nation's humanitarian news service. "The total number of cholera cases in 2012 is around 90% of cases reported last year. Since January 2011, 983 people have died from the outbreak affecting 8 of 11 provinces of the country," UN spokesman Yvon Edoumou said at a news conference. Since last January, the country has reported at least 40,795 cases, and the epidemic has strained ongoing humanitarian efforts funded mainly by a $9.1 million grant from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund, according to the story.
Jun 8 IRIN report

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