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Posts Tagged ‘E. coli’

Mysterious Outbreak of E. coli in 6 States

Posted by feww on June 9, 2012

E. coli outbreak NOT related to contaminated food: CDC

E. coli bacteria is linked to 14 illnesses, including one death, spread across 6 states.  Georgia has so far reported 5 cases, Louisiana 4, including a child’s death, Alabama 2, with one case each in Tennessee, Florida and California.

The source of outbreak, which occurred in April and May, has NOT been identified, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported.

Shiga-like toxin-producing Escherichia coli. Image Courtesy of the Helmholtz Center for Research on Infectious Diseases.

Transmission electron micrograph of E. coli O157:H7 showing flagella. Pseudoreplica technique. Photo Credit: Elizabeth H. White, M.S.; Content: CDC/ Peggy S. Hayes

See also:

“During the past decade, the emergence of drug-resistant E. coli has dramatically increased. As a consequence, the management of [urinary tract infections] UTIs, which was previously straightforward, has become more complicated; the risks for treatment failure are higher, and the cost of UTI  treatment is increasing,” said a report.

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Other Global Disasters, Significant Events

  • New Mexico, USA.  Gov. Martinez has declared state of emergency in Catron County, where the largest wildfire in state’s history,  Gila National Forest wildfire (Whitewater Baldy Complex fire), has consumed about 275,000 acres, with less than a third contained.
    • The blaze is currently the largest active fire in the United States.
    • The fire was sparked by lightning on Wednesday May 16th, 2012.
    • The fire has a HIGH growth potential, with air temperatures exceeding 78ºF and humidity reported at less than 3 percent.
  • Russia. The authorities in Russia’s southern Stavropol region have declared a state of emergency in 8 districts amid severe  drought.
    • Drought has forced the authorities in Rostov also to declare a state of emergency in 3 districts.
  • Idaho, USA. Bonner County has declared a third state of emergency so far this year.  Heavy rain and high waters have flooded several areas washing out roads.
  • Edinburgh, Scotland.  The legionnaires’ disease outbreak in Scotland has grown to at least 74 confirmed and suspected cases.
    • One person has  died, at least 14 are in intensive care, and 44 others are hospitalized or receiving outpatient treatment.
    • Age of confirmed cases is between 33 and 76.
    • Meantime, a Scotish distillery, North British Whiskey Co.,  has closed down its cooling towers and halted production,  a report said.
    • The site in Wheatfield Road is close to the building site where the outbreak claimed its first fatality last week.

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2012, global health catastrophe | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

E. coli much less contagious than i. gnorance

Posted by feww on June 3, 2011

E. coli NOT contagious despite the usual hype by Cabal News Network

Far deadlier outbreaks of much nastier bacteria/ viruses may be looming!

Recent outbreak of E. coli in Europe

  • Escherichia coli  (E. coli) is a major form of food poisoning.
  • The recent outbreak is thought to be a new variant of the rare strain E. coli O104:H4
  • The new variant is believed to be extremely toxic and highly infectious.

Shiga-like toxin-producing Escherichia coli. Image Courtesy of the Helmholtz Center for Research on Infectious Diseases.

  • About 1,650 people have been infected.
  • In Germany about 1,100  cases of bloody diarrhea have been reported.
  • Additionally, some 470 people have developed a deadly complication called haemolytic-uraemic syndrome (HUS), which affects the blood, and could lead to kidney failure.
  • 18 people have died: 17 in Germany and one in Sweden.
  • The source of the infection was originally thought to be Spanish cucumbers. However, that may no longer be the case.
  • Scientists said the E. coli strain in Europe “combines a highly poisonous but common toxin with a rarely seen ‘glue’ that binds it to a patient’s intestines.”
  • “This is a combination of two different groups of E coli which have led to increased pathogenicity. It can adhere very well to human cells, which makes it easier to transmit.” Said Dr Alexander Mellmann, the scientist who mapped the DNA of the new strain at the University of Munster in Germany.
  • Cases of E. coli infections have been reported in 10 European countries, all of which may have originated from a single source.
  • Russia has banned import of fresh vegetables from the European Union.  It’s not known weather they have also banned raw meat, or other food products.

O-157 strain of E. coli

  • At least 15 cases of infection caused by O-157 strain of E. coli bacteria have been reported in Japan. The victims dined at a barbecue restaurant chain in Toyama Prefecture. “REINS International Inc, the Tokyo-based operator of the Gyu-Kaku chain, apologized for the food-poisoning cases and said it thinks Australian beef was the likely cause,” said a report.
  •  “At least four people in Japan have died from E.coli food poisoning since April, after eating raw beef at another Korean-style barbecue restaurant chain,” a report said.
  • In 1996 an outbreak of E. coli in Japan killed 12 people.
  •  In 2000, 7 people died in a Canadian outbreak.

These are colonies of Escherichia coli bacteria growing on blood agar culture medium. Escherichia coli is the most common aerobic bacteria found in the large intestine of healthy individuals, and accounts for 90-95% of all the aerobic bacteria. Credit: CDC/Dr. Theo Hawkins, Click images to enlarge.

“More than 200 known diseases are transmitted through food. The causes of foodborne illness include viruses, bacteria, parasites, toxins, metals, and prions, and the symptoms of foodborne illness range from mild gastroenteritis to life-threatening neurologic, hepatic, and renal syndromes. In the United States, foodborne diseases have been estimated to cause 6 million to 81 million illnesses and up to 9,000 deaths each year.” CDC reported.

“Escherichia coli O157:H7 causes 73,000 illnesses in the United States annually. We reviewed E. coli O157 outbreaks reported to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to better understand the epidemiology of E. coli O157. E. coli O157 outbreaks (≥2 cases of E. coli O157 infection with a common epidemiologic exposure) reported to CDC from 1982 to 2002 were reviewed. In that period, 49 states reported 350 outbreaks, representing 8,598 cases, 1,493 (17%) hospitalizations, 354 (4%) hemolytic uremic syndrome cases, and 40 (0.5%) deaths. Transmission route for 183 (52%) was foodborne, 74 (21%) unknown, 50 (14%) person-to-person, 31 (9%) waterborne, 11 (3%) animal contact, and 1 (0.3%) laboratory-related. The food vehicle for 75 (41%) foodborne outbreaks was ground beef, and for 38 (21%) outbreaks, produce.”

CDC Situation Report

German health authorities have reported an outbreak of a severe illness called hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) in Germany since May 2, 2011. In this outbreak, HUS is being caused by an infection with a Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) bacteria. Many people have been hospitalized, several requiring intensive care, and some people have died. New cases are still being reported. For case counts and situation information, please see Investigation Announcement: Outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O104 (STEC O104:H4) Infections Associated with Travel to Germany. The organism causing the outbreak has been identified as E. coli O104:H4, producing Shiga toxin. This strain of E. coli causes an illness similar to infection with E. coli O157:H7.

Most infections have been reported in people in northern Germany (mainly Bremen, Hamburg, Lower Saxony, and Schleswig-Holstein) or in people who have recently traveled to these areas. Cases in travelers to northern Germany have been reported in Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

German health authorities are investigating the outbreak but have not confirmed a source. They suspect that the source is contaminated food, possibly raw vegetables.

Follow regular food safety measures when handling fruit and vegetables.

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Sudden worldwide increase in antibiotic-resistant bacterium

Posted by feww on December 28, 2009

Drug-resistant urinary tract infections spreading worldwide

Faculty of 1000: Biology and Medicine

A sudden worldwide increase in an antibiotic-resistant bacterium is cause for concern, according to a review in f1000 Medicine Reports.

Faculty of 1000 member Dr Johann Pitout, of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Calgary, urges the medical community to monitor the spread of a multi-drug resistant bacterium before it becomes necessary to use more powerful antibiotics as a first response.

Extended-spectrum β-lactamases (ESBLs) are bacterially-produced enzymes that confer resistance to penicillin-type antibiotics. ESBLs have been commonly linked to nosocomial infections, which are generally treated with intravenously-administered antibiotics such as the carbapenems.

However, in recent years there has been a drastic increase in community-acquired infections, caused by a single strain of ESBL-producing E. coli. Dr Pitout suggests that the rapid spread of this particular strain is due, at least in part, to international travel through high-risk areas such as the Indian subcontinent.

Using carbapenems as the first response to such infections increases the risk of inducing resistance to them in the community, nullifying some of our most powerful anti-bacterial strategies. Dr Pitout recommends that the medical community should use existing methods to identify infections caused by ESBL-producing bacteria, and empirically test the efficacy of other antibiotics in treating community-acquired infections.

Dr Pitout concludes, “If this emerging public health threat is ignored … the medical community may be forced to use the carbapenems as the first choice for the empirical treatment of serious [community-acquired UTIs].”

Contact: Steve Pogonowski

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Posted in carbapenems, ESBLs, Laboratory Medicine, nosocomial infections, Pathology | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Unfit for human consumption

Posted by feww on September 11, 2008

Is the EPA selling you anything unfit for human consumption?

EPA and the Dumping of Sewage Sludge on US Farmland

Consumer groups are pressing Congress to regulate against the practice of dumping of toxic sewage sludge on our farmland. “Farmers, scientists and victims of sludge poisoning will go before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on Thursday to investigate the Environmental Protections Agency’s role in the sludge dumped on farms and other lands.” (Source)

“We have enough problems with toxic food as it is without having our food grown in toxic soil and derived from animals who have been sickened, often almost to death, because of these toxins,” said Andrew Kimbrell, the executive director of the Center for Food Safety.

What is so toxic about the sewage sludge?

A lot of toxins are found in sewage sludge including:

  • E. coli
  • Prions (the ones that cause mad cow disease)
  • Highly toxic carcinogens used in flame retardants

Are there any victims?

Yes many! Sludge poisoning has caused serious illness, even death. Victims have reported headaches, fainting spells and nose bleeds. “Contact with sewage sludge can also cause asthma, respiratory problems and tumors. There have been several instances of death linked to exposure to the sludge.”

“It’s a very pernicious cycle here of taking the poisons out of the water but putting it back into our land, and therefore back into our food and water supply,” Kimbrell said. Dumping sludge on farmland is practiced widely because it is legal under EPA rules. About 3 million tons of sewage sludge is dumped on US farmlands each year, some 50 percent of the total production.

What About the EPA?

Citing “insufficient scientific evidence to any harmful effects” EPA nixed a petition in 1983 filed by 73 food and consumer groups asking for a moratorium on sludge dumping until the health, food and environmental impacts of the practice could be assessed.

What about the Department of Agriculture, Aren’t they also responsible?

Yes, they are. Andy McElmurray whose farm was contaminated from sewage sludge successfully sued the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The court ruled that the EPA’s “purposely manipulated data to squash scientific dissent,” and therefore their data was unreliable.

“Bad science and bad policy has to stop, and I think Congress has had it,” Kimbrell said. “There’s a mood for change now, and here’s where we can begin to see real change.”

Let’s hope Kimbrell would not be disappointed!

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