FOOD OUTBREAK NEWS SCAN: E coli O145 outbreak called over, impact of listeriosis

Jul 20, 2012

Multistate E coli O145 outbreak called over; no source identified
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today said a nine-state outbreak of Escherichia coli O145 infections "appears to be over," but the source of contamination remains unknown. Eighteen people were confirmed infected with the outbreak strain, up from 15 cases in six states in the CDC's last update on Jun 19. Four patients were hospitalized, and one, in Louisiana, died. Dates of illness onset ranged from Apr 15 to Jun 12. "Based on interviews conducted, a source for these infections was not identified," the CDC said. Cases by state are: Alabama (2), California (1), Florida (1), Georgia (5), Kentucky (1), Louisiana (5), Maryland (1), Tennessee (1), and Virginia (1). The new cases were in Kentucky, Maryland, and Virginia. The outbreak was first reported by Louisiana and Georgia officials in early June. The O145 strain is one of six non-O157 E coli strains that the US Department of Agriculture recently began testing for in beef trim.
Jul 20 CDC update
Jul 18 CIDRAP News item on non-O157 testing

Study: Listeria causes most years of life lost among enteric pathogens in Germany
 German scientists found that Listeria leads the list of enteric pathogens in that country as far as years of potential life lost (YPLL), according to a study today in Epidemiology & Infection. Using notification data from 2004 through 2008, the team assessed the impact of Campylobacter, L monocytogenes, norovirus, rotavirus, Salmonella, and Shiga toxin–producing E coli (STEC). They found the highest mortality rate was associated with salmonellosis (0.55 per 1 million population), but that Listeria accounted for the highest YPLL, at 4,245. When they removed deaths in people 70 and older, they found that Listeria still led substantially, with 2,306 YPLL, followed by STEC (757) and rotavirus (648). While acknowledging that routine surveillance captures only a fraction of cases and deaths, the authors conclude, "Weighting death by age permits a different view on the disease burden individual enteric pathogens cause and particularly underscores the public health importance of listeriosis prevention."
Jul 20 Epidemiol Infect abstract

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