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Posts Tagged ‘diarrhea’

Tens of Thousands Hit by Waterborne Diseases as S. Asia’s Deadly Floods Recede

Posted by feww on September 6, 2017

Submitted by a reader

More deaths and diseases follow the deadly floods in S. Asia

Outbreaks of malaria, dengue, diarrhea and respiratory infections have hit tens of thousands of people in Bangladesh, India and Nepal as the waters from the worst floods in recent years recede, aid agencies have said.

Severe floods have killed up to 1,500 people in South Asia since July, leaving tens of thousands displaced, in open air.

About 40,000 people have been infected in Bangladesh and Nepal, while multiple communities have been entirely wiped out in India’s eastern state of Bihar, Save the Children said.

An estimated 17 million children need protection, healthcare and basic nutrition in India alone, the agency said.

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Toilet hands!

Posted by feww on October 15, 2008

14 October: The UN Hand-Washing Day

Millions around the world washed their hands with soap to mark the inaugural Global Hand Washing Day celebrations. Washing hands with water is simply not enough. Washing hands with soap, especially before preparing food and after using the toilet, can potentially save the lives of almost 3.5 million children every year who die from diarrhea and pneumonia. UNICEF


Global Hand Washing Day in Timor-Leste. Private industry and the public sector have joined together to establish the first-ever Global Hand Washing Day, raising awareness to the risk of disease this simple act can prevent. Location: Dili, Timor-Leste. Date: 14 October 2008. Photo # 201397 – UN Photo/Martine Perret. Image may be subject to copyright.

Toilet hands

Meanwhile, researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine swabbed over 400 commuters at bus and train stations in  five major UK cities, and discovered that more than one in four had bacteria from feces on their hands. The results were as follows:

Newcastle – men 53%, women 30%
Liverpool – men 36%, women 31%
Birmingham – men 21%, women 26%
Cardiff – men 15%, women 29%
London – men 6%, women 21%

Dr Val Curtis, director of the Hygiene Center at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said: “We were flabbergasted by the finding that so many people had fecal bugs on their hands.

“The figures were far higher than we had anticipated, and suggest that there is a real problem with people washing their hands in the UK.

“If any of these people had been suffering from a diarrhea disease, the potential for it to be passed around would be greatly increased by their failure to wash their hands after going to the toilet.”

Professor Mike Catchpole, director of the Health Protection Agency’s Center for Infections, said: “These results are startling and should be enough to make anyone reach for the soap.

“It is well known that hand washing is one of the most important ways of controlling the spread of infections, especially those that cause diarrhea and vomiting, colds and flu.

“People should always wash their hands after using the toilet, before eating or handling food, and after handling animals. And remember to cover all cuts and scratches with a waterproof dressing.”

Cases of norovirus – the winter vomiting bug – are rising in the UK, the HPA said. About a million people in the UK are affected by the bug each year.

“Norovirus is the most common cause of gastrointestinal disease in the UK with peak activity in terms of numbers of cases and outbreaks during the winter months, from October to March.” BBC reported.

Professor Catchpole said: “Norovirus is highly infectious and easily spread in settings where people are in close contact with one another so good hygiene, including frequent handwashing, is really important.”

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Wash Your Tomatoes!

Posted by feww on June 4, 2008

Salmonella Strikes Again!

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration revealed 57 reported cases of poisoning caused by an uncommon strand of Salmonella bacteria called SaintPaul in Texas and New Mexico since late April. Illnesses were blamed on eating raw tomatoes.

Updated: June 7, 2008

States with persons with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Saintpaul, by state of residence and onset of illness, April to June 2008.


Since mid-April, 145 persons infected with Salmonella Saintpaul with the same genetic fingerprint have been identified in 16 states: Arizona (12 persons), California (1), Colorado (1), Connecticut (1), Idaho (2), Illinois (17), Indiana (1), Kansas (3), New Mexico (39), Oklahoma (3), Oregon (2), Texas (56 persons), Utah (1), Virginia (2), Washington (1), and Wisconsin (3). These were identified because clinical laboratories in all states send Salmonella strains from ill persons to their State public health laboratory for characterization. Among the 73 persons who have been interviewed, illnesses began between April 16 and May 27, 2008. Patients range in age from 1 to 82 years; 49% are female. At least 23 persons were hospitalized. No deaths have been reported. (Image and Caption: CDC. Update: June 7, 2008 )

People in 16 States Have Been Infected

[See above image and caption for update added June 7, 2008] About 30 more people became ill in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas and Utah. At least 17 people needed hospitalization, but no deaths have been reported.

“Our preliminary data is showing that the people who became sick in New Mexico and Texas ate raw tomatoes, and that’s their likely source of this illness,” an epidemiologist with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

“The investigation in the other states is ongoing right now. We are definitely looking into their tomato exposures as well as other exposures to try to determine if they’re linked with this outbreak in New Mexico and Texas,” she added.

“The specific type and source of tomatoes are under investigation. However, preliminary data suggest that raw red plum, red Roma, or round red tomatoes are the cause,” the FDA said.

Salmonella bacteria often cause food-borne illnesses accompanied by vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pains and fever.


Salmonella Bacteria

Clinical features of Salmonella Infection

Most persons infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12–72 hours after infection. Infection is usually diagnosed by culture of a stool sample. The illness usually lasts 4 – 7 days. Although most people recover without treatment, severe infections may occur. Infants, elderly persons, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely than others to develop severe illness. When severe infection occurs, Salmonella may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other body sites, and can cause death. In these severe cases, antibiotic treatment may be necessary.

Advice to consumers

  • In New Mexico and Texas, until the source of the implicated tomatoes is determined,
    • persons with increased risk of severe infection, including infants, elderly persons, and those with impaired immune systems, should not eat raw Roma or red round tomatoes other than those sold attached to the vine or grown at home, and
    • persons who want to reduce their risk of Salmonella infection can avoid consuming raw Roma or red round tomatoes other than those sold attached to the vine or grown at home.
  • Avoid purchasing bruised or damaged tomatoes and discard any that appear spoiled.
  • Thoroughly wash all tomatoes under running water.
  • Refrigerate within 2 hours or discard cut, peeled, or cooked tomatoes.
  • Keep tomatoes that will be consumed raw separate from raw meats, raw seafood, and raw produce items.
  • Wash cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and counter tops with hot water and soap when switching between types of food products.

You can check the CDC and FDA websites for updates on this investigation and changes in recommendations.

More information about Salmonella and this investigation can be found at:

Information on the safe handling of produce can be found at:

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