outbreak Salmonella

Salmonella outbreak linked to onions sickens hundreds, includes cases in Missouri and Illinois –

Salmonella outbreak linked to onions sickens hundreds, includes cases in Missouri and Illinois

A salmonella outbreak caused by onions is expanding and has infected 640 people from 43 states. At least 85 of them have been hospitalized, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

“If you don’t know where your onions are from, don’t eat, serve, or sell them or any food prepared with them,” the CDC said Friday.

The Food and Drug Administration has warned consumers not to eat onions from Thomson International Inc. The advice applies to red, white, yellow, and sweet onions.

Some of the onions were sold at stores including Walmart, Kroger, Fred Meyer, Publix, Giant Eagle, Food Lion, and H-E-B, under a variety of brand names, the CDC said.

Several companies have recalled onions and foods made with recalled onions like chicken salad, macaroni salad, fajita stir-fry, pizza and diced raw onions, including Taylor Farms and Giant Eagle.

The CDC said people should check their homes for the recalled products and throw away the affected items.

“Do not eat them or try to cook the onions or other food to make it safe,” the CDC said.

Signs of salmonella infection include diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps between six hours and six days after exposure to the bacteria. Those under age 5, those over 65 and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to experience severe illness.

In some cases, the infection can spread from the intestines to other parts of the body and require hospitalization.

The CDC is urging anyone with symptoms of salmonella poisoning to contact a doctor, write down what they ate the week before they became sick, report the illness to the health department and communicate with health investigators about their illness.

Infections have been reported in several states including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

A complete list of affected states is on the CDC’s website.

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expects outbreak

CDC expects 2020 outbreak of life-threatening AFM in children – ABC News

Acute flaccid myelitis “is a medical emergency …”

August 5, 2020, 12:00 PM

7 min read

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a call to action to warn of a potential outbreak between the end of this summer and winter of a rare, but potentially lethal disease that affects young children, where seeking medical attention right away could make all the difference.

Acute flaccid myelitis “is a medical emergency that requires immediate recognition and care,” urged CDC director Robert Redfield, on a conference call with the media Tuesday.

AFM is a rare, rapid onset neurological disease affecting the spinal cord leading to paralysis. Symptoms of AFM include sudden arm or leg weakness, difficulty walking, limb pain, back pain or neck pain. AFM can cause paralysis over the course of hours to days, which may require a ventilator for breathing.

It most commonly affects young children. Parents are being asked to seek medical care immediately if a child develops a sudden arm or leg weakness.

Most children with AFM will have a fever or respiratory illness about six days before weakness occurs. For this reason, AFM has been associated with viruses, and specifically one called Enterovirus D68.

But why some children get AFM and some don’t isn’t yet clear.

“We’ve learned a lot, but we have a lot to learn about AFM … We are working at CDC and collaborating with the NIH on a couple of prospective large studies, which will help us better understand risk factors for AFM,” said Redfield.

The CDC began tracking cases of AFM in 2014 and a wave of cases has occurred every other year since then. In 2018, the US experienced the third and largest outbreak of AFM with 238 cases in 42 states between August and November.

The average age was just 5 years old.

At least 98% of those children were hospitalized, and over half were admitted to the intensive care unit, while 20% required a ventilator to breathe.

And while most parents sought medical attention within one day of developing AFM symptoms, a concerning 10% were not hospitalized after four days of weakness.

While many children will recover to their usual state of health after AFM, unfortunately, many kids will have permanent disability.

“Early and aggressive physical therapy and occupational therapy can help strengthen the functioning they will retain and go about their lives with the best functioning possible,” said Dr. Thomas Clark, a pediatrician and CDC deputy director of the division of viral diseases.

With the 2020 peak season looming, AFM is a priority for CDC as it prepares for an outbreak this year.

“As a parent and a grandparent my heart goes out to the families affected by AFM,” Redfield said.

Parents should look out for any sudden weakness of the arms or legs in addition to pain in these areas, the neck or the back. If your child recently had a viral cold or fever, this should heighten your suspicion for AFM.

Clark urged pediatricians and other health care providers to “consider and properly recognize [AFM], hospitalize immediately, take specimens as soon as possible and report [the case] to local health authorities.”

If suspecting AFM, health care providers should order an MRI in order to distinguish AFM from other neurological conditions.

“It’s vital that all health care providers maintain a high index of suspicion for AFM in children with acute limb weakness or neck or back pain that develops after an upper respiratory illness from late summer through fall,” said Dr. Robert Glatter, an Emergency Physician at Lenox Hill in New York City.

“We expect that AFM will likely have another peak in 2020. That said, it’s still unclear if or how COVID-19’s recommended social distancing measures and attention to mask wearing and hand hygiene will impact how much enterovirus we end up seeing, along with cases of AFM,” Glatter said.

The same hygiene precautions for COVID-19 apply to viruses that cause AFM.

As some of the symptoms of COVID-19 may overlap with AFM, parents should be on high alert this season.

Non-COVID-19 emergency room visits dropped off sharply in 2020 due to fear of COVID-19. If this trend continues, parents need to know that time is critical and potentially lifesaving with AFM, so even in the age of COVID-19 seek medical attention immediately if your child has sudden numbness in their arms or legs.

“We are concerned in the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic that cases [of AFM] might not be recognized or that parents might be concerned about taking their kids to the doctor,” Clark said.

Molly Stout, M.D. is a dermatology resident at Northwestern in Chicago and a contributor to the ABC News Medical Unit.

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House outbreak

Frat house outbreak leaves 93 infected with coronavirus at University of Washington – New York Post

July 3, 2020 | 8:34pm | Updated July 4, 2020 | 12:36am

A coronavirus outbreak at the University of Washington’s off-campus frat houses has left at least 93 students sickened with the illness, the school announced Friday.

Eighty-nine of the infected students at the Seattle school live on Greek Row, while the other four came into close contact with frat house residents.

“What is occurring north of campus provides lessons for students as they consider their return to campus this fall,” Dr. Geoffrey Gottlieb, chair of the UW Advisory Committee on Communicable Diseases, said Tuesday,  when the outbreak was first reported.

Gottlieb warned that in order to establish some semblance of “normalcy” — with socializing and attending classes — students must wear face coverings and practice social distancing.

“If we don’t, measures such as what are now required on Greek Row will be inevitable,” he said.

While the university’s official coronavirus count related to Greek Row is 93, the school’s student-led interfraternity council said 117 fraternity members residing in 15 separate houses have self-reported testing positive.

The university said it’s working to confirm the increased tally.

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Lansing outbreak

East Lansing Bar Outbreak Balloons to 85 COVID-19 Cases, Spreads to Grosse Pointe Area – Eater Detroit

An outbreak of new COVID-19 cases connected with patrons at an East Lansing bar continued to balloon over the weekend. As of Saturday, June 27, the Ingham County Health Department has identified 85 positive COVID-19 cases linked to Harper’s Restaurant and Brew Pub, located near the Michigan State University Campus.

Health official have been advising people who visited the bar between Friday, June 12 and Saturday, June 20, to self-quarantine for 14 days from the date of their visit. Harper’s has been closed since Monday, June 22, in order to reevaluated its policies for enforcing social distancing and to install a new air-purifying HVAC system.

There are some misleading news reports today. Only people who went to Harper’s June 12-20 have been asked to self-quarantine for 14 days since their visit. Cases linked to Harper’s are currently at 85 total.

Posted by Ingham County Health Department on Saturday, June 27, 2020

Of the 85 cases, the majority were identified in younger college-age people, some of whom transmitted the disease to different regions of the state where satellite outbreaks have been identified. On Saturday, the Detroit Free Press reported that a large portion of a rising number of cases in the Grosse Pointe area have been traced to one infected Harper’s patron. That individual later hosted a house party with several dozen people in Grosse Pointe Woods while symptomatic. After testing positive on Monday, June 22, they notified party goers on Tuesday.

At least one person who neither attended the house party nor visited Harper’s has also tested positive after seeing friends at a second bonfire party where people who visited the first Grosse Pointe Woods party were in attendance.

The Harper’s outbreak puts into clear focus the risks of dining out without a mask and without social distancing during the pandemic. People at the bar were observed lining up in crowds without leaving six feet of space between groups. Many people on the street were not wearing face masks, which are required by state executive order to enter any food and beverage establishment prior to being seated. Many restaurant owners and employees have spoken out about issues with enforcing mask rules, due to sometimes belligerent customers.

The city of Detroit put restaurants, bars, and nightclubs on notice on Thursday, June 25 that health officials would be out over the weekend to correct violations of the state’s executive order and improve safety enforcement. Mayor Mike Duggan warned owners that if they failed to comply after a warning, the city would be going to court on Monday to shut those businesses down.

Meanwhile, other states and counties across the country have been pausing or rolling back reopenings after a new rise in novel coronavirus cases. Florida, Texas, several counties in California, and Ada County in Idaho were among the areas to close down bars.

Eater is tracking the impact of the novel coronavirus on the local food industry. Have a story to share? Reach out at

How Coronavirus Spread From East Lansing Bar to the Grosse Pointes [Freep]

Ingham County Health Department [Official]

Kishi Chhabra [h/t]

Coronavirus Cases Tied to Michigan Bar Are a Reminder of the Risks of Pandemic Dining [ED]

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Coronavirus outbreak

Coronavirus Outbreak, Fears Of Second Wave Lead To Beijing Lockdown – Forbes

CHINA-HEALTH-VIRUS Covid-19 Coronavirus Beijing

Chinese paramilitary police officers guard an entrance to the closed Xinfadi market in Beijing. The … [+] huge wholesale market has become the centre of focus for a new cluster of coronavirus cases in Beijing, where nervous local officials have begun mass testing, closing schools and neighbourhoods, and turned sharp scrutiny towards the food supply chain. (Photo by GREG BAKER/AFP via Getty Images)

AFP via Getty Images

Here is how quickly things can change with this Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

After 55 days without any new reported infections and an easing back to sort of, kind of normal life in Beijing, China, lockdowns have suddenly returned. That’s because a new outbreak of Covid-19 coronavirus cases has occurred. On Thursday, testing found a 52-year-old man to be positive for the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Since then, dozens of new cases have emerged with most being linked to the Xinfadi food market in Southern Fengtai district of Beijing.

Yep, these days, things can change on a dime or perhaps on 0.71 Yuan. Here’s a South China Morning Post segment on this outbreak in Beijing:

Remember this outbreak is in the middle of an ongoing pandemic. An outbreak is any local surge in cases greater than what may be expected or what recent trends may have predicted. An outbreak during a pandemic is like an argument or some other kind of drama during the course of a really, really bad relationship that’s nowhere close to ending.

As the video said, the Xinfadi market is Beijing’s largest market for fruits, vegetables, and meat. So it’s a public area where people gather. It also indicated that the the virus was detected on a board used to cut salmon in market. That may sound fishy but so far there haven’t been any known cases of humans catching the virus from eating salmon.

In an attempt to contain this outbreak, officials have shifted the Beijing district into “wartime emergency mode,” which is certainly not as fun as pie à la mode. According to Emma Graham-Harrison and Lily Kuo reporting for The Guardian, this has meant placing restrictions on movement, suspending sports events, barring tourism, keeping schools closed, and closing the market. Officials have already quarantined 139 people and plan on testing over 10,000 people. The concern, of course, is that this outbreak could lead to a second wave. And no one, besides perhaps the virus, wants such a second wave.

Beijing Rises Risk Level After 36 New Confirmed COVID-19 Cases

Medical workers wearing protective suits sort nucleic acid test results for the citizens at a … [+] hospital on June 14, 2020 in Beijing, China. Beijing has found 43 new coronavirus cases within three days, the number of new infections has risen for the first time for nearly two months. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Yep, officials in China are hoping that this new outbreak doesn’t become like the movie Grown Ups 2, a sequel that’s as bad as the original. When the virus first started spreading widely in China in January, things were looking grim until later that month, when officials began implementing aggressive social distancing measures, testing, and test-trace-isolate efforts. As I covered for Forbes back on March 26, which was about three missed haircuts ago, these approaches allowed China to effectively “flatten-the-curve,” and even turn the curve upside down. As a result, China could then progressively ease restrictions and re-open their society.

In fact, just a week ago, The New York Times had reported that “China has largely returned to normal life, with its last remaining high-risk area, a district in the northeastern city of Jilin, lowering its epidemic response level on Sunday.” According to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center, as of today, China has had 84,296 reported Covid-19 coronavirus cases and 4,638 deaths, compared to 2,074,749 and 115,436 for the U.S., which has about a quarter of China’s population. Of course, take these counts with a bag of salt (that happened to arrive instead of the flour that you ordered), because who knows how many cases are being missed. Nevertheless, the picture has been that China has been able to control the pandemic better than many other countries over the past couple months.


Paramilitary police officers wear face masks and goggles as they stand guard at an entrance to the … [+] closed Xinfadi market in Beijing on June 13, 2020. Eleven residential estates in south Beijing have been locked down due to a fresh cluster of coronavirus cases linked to the Xinfadi meat market, officials said on June 13. (Photo by GREG BAKER/AFP via Getty Images)

AFP via Getty Images

Ah, but, remember the movie The Rock, when Nicholas Case warned, “Mason, the second you don’t respect this, it kills you,” while handing a bunch of poisonous gas bubbles to Sean Connery? Well, the moment that you don’t respect the Covid-19 coronavirus, the moment that you get too lax about the virus, it could come back to proverbially bite you on the proverbial behind in a what-the-proverb type of way.

The virus isn’t regularly posting selfies on Instagram, so unless you’re doing widespread aggressive testing, you don’t know where it may be going. Even if you do have extensive testing programs in place, the virus can be like your dog in the driver’s seat of a car with the motor running: it can take off at any moment. The virus is quite contagious. A single case lead to two, three, and maybe even four new cases, each of which can subsequently lead to more. Thus, it only takes a few cases to lead to a resurgence.

All of this should serve as a warning to the U.S. This virus isn’t going to simply go away like a contestant on The Apprentice or a toupée in a furnace. Just because businesses are re-opening in your community and you can’t see the virus, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t continue to take appropriate precautions. For example, don’t stop keeping your distance from others and don’t resume your group sex parties just yet, as I recently described for Forbes.

The re-opening that’s occurring around you may make it seem like the virus is no longer a threat. But that’s simply not the case. In fact, the case count has continued to rise in the U.S. And the U.S. has not turned the curve around in the ways that China and other countries have.

You may feel social pressure to “return to normal” because people around you are acting like they’ve been freed from high school detention. There are also messages on social media and other platforms from some politicians, business leaders, and others that the virus is “no big deal,” that you should go back to what you were doing before the pandemic started. But succumbing to such pressure too soon could be like following Regina George in the movie Mean Girls. It’s not a good idea. Unlike the situation in Beijing, the virus wouldn’t even need to make a comeback in the U.S. because it never really went away.

Full coverage and live updates on the Coronavirus

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Ebola outbreak

New Ebola outbreak detected in northwest Democratic Republic of the Congo; WHO surge team supporting the response – World Health Organization

The Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo announced today that a new outbreak of Ebola virus disease is occurring in Wangata health zone, Mbandaka, in Équateur province. The announcement comes as a long, difficult and complex Ebola outbreak in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo is in its final phase, while the country also battles COVID-19 and the world’s largest measles outbreak.

Initial information from the Ministry of Health is that six Ebola cases have so far been detected in Wangata, of which four have died and two are alive and under care. Three of these six cases have been confirmed with laboratory testing. It is likely more people will be identified with the disease as surveillance activities increase.

“This is a reminder that COVID-19 is not the only health threat people face,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “Although much of our attention is on the pandemic, WHO is continuing to monitor and respond to many other health emergencies.”

This is the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s 11th outbreak of Ebola since the virus was first discovered in the country in 1976. The city of Mbandaka and its surrounding area were the site of Democratic Republic of the Congo’s 9th Ebola outbreak, which took place from May to July 2018.

“It’s happening at a challenging time, but WHO has worked over the last two years with health authorities, Africa CDC and other partners to strengthen national capacity to respond to outbreaks,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “To reinforce local leadership, WHO plans to send a team to support scaling up the response. Given the proximity of this new outbreak to busy transport routes and vulnerable neighbouring countries we must act quickly.”

WHO is already on the ground in Mbandaka supporting the response to this outbreak, as part of capacity built during the 2018 outbreak. The team supported the collection and testing of samples, and reference to the national laboratory for confirmation. Contact tracing is underway. Work is ongoing to send additional supplies from North Kivu and from Kinshasa to support the government-led response. A further 25 people are expected to arrive in Mbandaka tomorrow. WHO is also working to ensure that essential health services are provided to communities despite these emergency events.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s 10th outbreak of Ebola, in North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri provinces, is in its final stages. On 14 May 2020, the Ministry of Health began the 42-day countdown to the declaration of the end of that outbreak.

New outbreaks of Ebola are expected in the Democratic Republic of the Congo given the existence of the virus in an animal reservoir in many parts of the country.

Note to Editors – key figures

COVID-19 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

  • As of 31 May 2020: 3195 cases have been reported, including 72 deaths.

Measles in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

  • Since 2019: 369 520 measles cases and 6779 deaths have been reported.

Recent Ebola outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

11th outbreak: Mbandaka, Équateur province.

  • Ongoing. Declared on 1 June 2020.
  • 6 cases (3 confirmed, 3 probable). Of those, 4 people died and 2 are alive

10th outbreak: North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri provinces

  • Ongoing. Declared on 1 August 2018.
  • 3463 cases (3317 confirmed and 146 probable). Of these, 2280 people died and 1171 survived.

9th outbreak: Mbandaka, Équateur province.

  • Declared on 8 May 2018 and ended on 24 July 2018.
  • 54 cases (38 confirmed and 16 probable). Of those, 33 died and 21 survived.

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Coronavirus outbreak

New Coronavirus Outbreak As South Korea Reopens, Cases Surge In Brazil | NBC Nightly News – NBC News

Published on 28 May 2020

South Korea saw an outbreak of 79 cases, the biggest spike in two months, as the country slowly reopens. Coronavirus continues to surge in Brazil where they’re preparing to restart the economy.

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New Coronavirus Outbreak As South Korea Reopens, Cases Surge In Brazil | NBC Nightly News

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COVID outbreak

COVID-19 outbreak reported at Case Farms – Morganton News Herald

The state has confirmed an outbreak of positive cases at a meat processing facility in Burke County.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported on Monday an outbreak of the virus at a meat processing plant in the county. The only meat processing facility in Burke County is Case Farms in Morganton.

NCDHHS defines an outbreak as two or more positive cases.

While the state hasn’t identified how many positive cases are at each facility, the department said there are currently 1,208 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in 23 outbreaks at meat-processing plants in the state.

In addition to Burke County, other outbreaks at meat processing facilities in the state are in Bertie, Bladen, Chatham, Duplin, Lee, Lenoir, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, Surry, Union, Wilkes and Wilson counties.

The outbreaks are included in the county breakdowns of positive cases, according to NCDHHS.

North Carolina Director of Emergency Management Mike Sprayberry said Monday there are other departments and divisions working with meat processing plants to make sure workers are safe, including the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen said because workers at meat processing facilities are within 6 feet of each other, which puts them at risk, her department is telling plants to provide PPEs for workers, not just face coverings, provide testing onsite and offer sick leave to workers.

Cohen said all of the companies she has spoken with told her they are providing paid sick leave but she has not spoken to all of them.

Heather Overton, assistant director of public affairs for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, said the department is responsible for ensuring food safety. She said the positive cases in employees at meat processing facilities does not present a food safety issue.

Overton said COVID-19 is not a food-borne illness and the CDC has said the spread of the virus from food and food packaging is low-risk.

On Monday, the state reported 550 deaths so far from the virus and 15,045 positive cases, with 464 people hospitalized. The state says 195,865 people have been tested for the virus so far.

During a briefing Monday, Cohen said the state estimates that 9,115 have recovered from COVID-19 but reminded folks that an individual patient’s recovery could be longer.

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