NEWS SCAN: Second Iowa farm recalls eggs, Salmonella Typhi update, dengue in the US, MVA-based flu vaccines, high-profile pertussis message

Aug 20, 2010

Second Iowa producer recalls eggs in Salmonella outbreak
Another Iowa egg producer, Hillandale Farms of Iowa, located in North Hampton, has recalled certain production dates of its eggs, including three brands of carton eggs—Hillandale Farms, Sunny Farms, and Sunny Meadow—after lab-confirmed Salmonella Enteritidis infections were linked to its eggs. They also recalled loose eggs packaged under Wholesome Farms and West Creek brands. The company's recall, which applies to eggs distributed in 14 states, involves eggs from two plants that span production dates from early April through Aug 18. Meanwhile the FDA issued an urgent recall today warning consumers about the risk of certain shell eggs produced by Wright County Egg of Galt, Iowa, and packaged and distributed nationally under several brand names. The company's second recall, issued Aug 18, applies to 380 million eggs produced at all five of its Iowa farms, with production dates as late as Aug 17. In a related development, a distributor that receives its eggs from Wright County Egg recalled its products yesterday. Country Eggs, Inc., based in Los Angeles, recalled its 15-dozen bulk packs yesterday. The company provides eggs to wholesalers, distribution centers, and foodservice companies in California, Arizona, and Nevada. The recalled eggs were produced from Aug 4 through Aug 9 on two Wright County Egg farms. In illness investigation developments, Nebraska health officials have linked eight illnesses to the egg recall, according to Marla Augustine, a public health information officer for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.
Aug 19 FDA urgent national recall notice for eggs
Aug 20 Hillandale Farms of Iowa recall notice
Aug 19 Country Eggs recall notice

FDA issues urgent frozen mamey fruit pulp recall
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an urgent national recall related to frozen mamey fruit today after a second company recalled its products. The first company linked to the outbreak was Goya Foods, Inc., which recalled its products on Aug 18 after Salmonella Typhi illnesses were linked to its pulp. On Aug 18 Montalvan Sales, Inc., recalled its La Nuestra brand of frozen mamey fruit pulp after an epidemiologic investigation linked illnesses to the product. The FDA said both companies import their mamey fruit from the same supplier in Guatemala. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in an update today that the contaminated frozen mamey fruit pulp outbreak has sickened nine people, five in California and four in Nevada. All are of Hispanic descent. Patients range in age from 4 to 31 years, and most consumed the fruit pulp in a milkshake or smoothie. The latest illness onset was Jul 25. Seven of the patients were hospitalized and no deaths have been reported. Mamey, also called zapote or sapote, is a tropical fruit grown mostly in Central and South America. The CDC said frozen mamey fruit pulp can be purchased in grocery stores throughout the country and packages have a 2- to 3-year shelf life.
Aug 20 FDA urgent national recall notice for frozen mamey fruit pulp
Aug 20 CDC Salmonella Typhoid outbreak update
Aug 19 Montalvan Sales recall notice

Report says dengue could re-establish itself in US
A report published this week in Biosecurity and Bioterrorism warns that dengue virus infection has the potential to become re-established as an endemic disease in the United States. The virus is far more prevalent in popular tourism destinations than in the past. Conditions that could facilitate sustained dengue transmission in the US include environmental factors, competent mosquito vectors (Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus), limited vector and dengue surveillance, increased outdoor activities in the warmer months, and low public awareness of the disease, the report says. "Given these risk factors, it is apparent that the threat of dengue to the U.S. is current and real," it states. It notes that sustained dengue transmission has occurred in Florida in the past year. The authors call for enhanced awareness and reporting of cases, increased support for vector surveillance and control programs, and more focus on vaccine development.
Aug 18 Biosecur Bioterror abstract

Researchers test MVA-based pandemic H1N1 vaccine in ferrets
Dutch researchers exploring the possibility of using the modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) as a viral vector in a flu vaccine platform have found that a recombinant MVA vaccine expressing the HA gene of the pandemic H1N1 virus protected ferrets. The group published its findings yesterday in the Journal of General Virology. A single dose induced a modest antibody response with modest protection against the development of severe pandemic H1N1 infection, but two doses produced a robust response. The researchers concluded that their findings suggest that MVA shows promise as a flu vaccine platform. In an earlier study they demonstrated that an MVA-based vaccine could protect mice and macaques against H5N1 avian influenza infection.
Aug 18 J Gen Virol abstract

NASCAR star presses for pertussis awareness
Sanofi and the March of Dimes, in an effort to educate the public about the dangers of pertussis, have launched a "Sounds of Pertussis" disease prevention Web site and enlisted NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon and his wife, model Ingrid Vandebosch, as high-profile spokespeople. Vandebosch gave birth to the couple's second child on Aug 9 and was recently photographed receiving the Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis) booster to protect her and their baby. She said in a press release that she didn't know about pertussis when they had their first child. "I would never want to put my baby at risk. Now that I know I can decrease the risk of spreading pertussis to Leo by getting an adult pertussis booster vaccine, I got vaccinated. And I encourage other new parents to speak with their health-care providers about getting an adult Tdap vaccination," Vandebosch said in a press release. California is facing its biggest pertussis outbreak in 50 years, and other states are reporting spikes in pertussis cases. Health professionals are urging people to get the recommended booster shots, especially parents and other caregivers of infants.
Sounds of Pertussis Web site
Aug 19 Sanofi/March of Dimes press release

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