Posts

March 21, 2015

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2:03 PM | HK SCEZD: Management Of Contacts of Human Avian Flu Cases
  # 9851   With 13 imported H7N9 cases over the past two winters, several brushes with H5N1 over the years, and even an occasional H9N2 infection popping up, Hong Kong has a good deal of experience dealing with avian flu cases.   They have also followed up on hundreds of close contacts of these cases, and have even set aside a holiday camp as a quarantine facility (see Hong Kong: Epidemiological Update On Imported H7N9 Case).   Yesterday Hong Kong’s SCEZD […]

March 20, 2015

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8:45 PM | Creating a 3D Print global research community
A case study on my use of 3D printing in environmental research: http://www2.mmu.ac.uk/media/mmuacuk/content/documents/it-services/help-guides/Open%20Science%203DP%20Case%20Study.pdf Thanks to Lisa Burns for putting this together.
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6:05 PM | Gordon Lightfoot struck with foodborne illness
Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot is postponing his concert in Kalamazoo a second time because of ongoing health issues related to foodborne illness.
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5:49 PM | ‘Disgusting’ says Schaffner: Philly McDonald’s leaks sewage, continues to operate for 4 days
As the stench of backed-up sewage permeated the restaurant, a West Philadelphia McDonald’s continued selling Big Macs, Quarter Pounders, and fries over four days last fall, installing porta-potties in the parking lot but never notifying the city, which would have … Continue reading →
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5:40 PM | 200 students sickened: Indian school slapped with Rs 3 lakh fine for bad hostel food
At the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee (IIT Roorkee), around 200 students fell on September 10, 2013 after eating mess food. The incident happened at Rajendra Bhawan Hostel at IIT-R. The students complained of stomach ache and vomiting and the … Continue reading →
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5:31 PM | 14% of Norovirus outbreaks from food
Worldwide, noroviruses are a leading cause of gastroenteritis. They can be transmitted from person to person directly or indirectly through contaminated food, water, or environments. To estimate the proportion of foodborne infections caused by noroviruses on a global scale, we … Continue reading →
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1:20 PM | Stockholm: Two Dead Swans – H5N8 Suspected
Sweden In Relation to Europe     NOTE:  I’ll be away from my desk for most of the next 48 hours.  While I’ll have my laptop with me, I may not be able to do much blogging until I return on Sunday.  In the meantime check Crofsblog, FluTrackers, and VDU Blog for any important updates.     # 9850 The Swedish Board of Agriculture has released the following statement on the discovery of what they believe to be two dead swans with […]
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11:41 AM | WHO MERS Update – March 20th
Credit WHO     # 9849   The World Health Organization has released their latest MERS-CoV update, with details on 15 recent Saudi cases. As we’ve seen previously, many have no known risk exposures, while others appear to have contracted the virus while in the hospital (but often without direct contact with an infected case).   Of these 15 cases: 1 had contact with camels 1 had contact with people who had frequent contact with camels and camel products, […]
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10:04 AM | Hong Kong Prioritizes Groups To Receive Emergency Flu Vaccine
  # 9848   The effect of this year’s vaccine mismatch due to a `drifted’ H3N2 virus has been keenly felt across the Northern Hemisphere, but perhaps no more so than in Hong Kong which has seen a doubling of severe cases and a tripling of deaths over last season.    While the flu season is slowly winding down for most of us, Hong Kong continues to report new deaths daily, and historically often endures a second peak of influenza in the summer (see Hong […]
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1:43 AM | Cone of silence: Listeria and stone fruit
Because this is, as CDC says, “the first reported link between human listeriosis and stone fruit” why wasn’t this public earlier (except for occasional news reports). There is a creepy, crawly cone of silence descending on the public reporting of foodborne … Continue reading →
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1:13 AM | E coli vaccine no longer available in UK
The E. coli vaccine produced by Bioniche and used by a number of National Farm Attractions Network members is no longer available. Bioniche, the Canadian company that manufactured Econiche, and helped us import it into the UK, has sold its … Continue reading →
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12:59 AM | Covering up a naked virus
Viruses can be broadly classified according to whether or not the particle is enveloped – surrounded by a membrane taken from the host cell – or naked. Some naked viruses apparently are more modest than we believed. Members of the family Picornaviridae, which include Hepatitis A virus, poliovirus, and Coxsackieviruses, have non-enveloped particles that consist of a protein shell […]
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12:47 AM | Why still open? Everyone needs a pay check UK hotel guests struck down by illness
Guests at a Newquay hotel have hit out after the premises remained open despite a serious outbreak of Norovirus. Some 30 members of a coach trip from the Sheffield area fell ill with the severe gastric virus when they visited … Continue reading →
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12:38 AM | Nosestretcher alert: Australian food porn contestant suffers food poisoning (but it didn’t happen on the show)
A contestant on Australian food porn show, My Kitchen Rules, has been forced to pull out of the competition after being hospitalized for 15 days with food poisoning. I’m sorry. Food poisoning sucks. Producers were quick to clarify Kaponias did … Continue reading →

March 19, 2015

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4:28 PM | EID Journal: Three Looks At The H5N8 Virus In Europe
H5N8 Branching Out To Europe & Japan     # 9847   The EID Journal has posted four articles today on the H5N8 virus, three of which are closely related enough to deserve mention in the same blog post.   All three find the H5N8 virus detected in England, Germany, and The Netherlands to be closely related to the Asian/Korean strains. Despite the reservations expressed by the UN CMS/FAO Co-Convened Scientific Task Force on Avian Influenza and Wild Birds and […]
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3:58 PM | H7N9: No News Is . . . . Curious
Credit WHO – January 2015   # 9846   During the first two waves of H7N9 in China we saw cases run from early winter until early May, with the peak numbers falling between February and March. So it is curious that the last official H7N9 notification to be published by Hong Kong’s CHP came 10 days ago, on March 9th (see CHP notified of additional human cases of avian influenza A(H7N9) in Mainland).   Since then, we’ve seen one notification of an H5N1 […]
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3:33 PM | Dirty Dining, Vegas style
Darcy Spears of KTNV Channel 13 writes there is a four-way tie for the dirtiest dining in Las Vegas this week. At Beijing Chinese Cuisine on Eastern and Serene, inspectors found pork blood dripping onto noodles in a loosely covered … Continue reading →
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3:30 PM | We’re Celebrating Our 100th Cat-iversary!
Cat Tracker launched in May 2014. In a little less than one year, we’ve enrolled over 500 indoor/outdoor kitties from 9 different states and several foreign countries! Today we are pleased to announce that we have recorded tracks from over 100 cats! So what have we learned so far? In examining the home ranges of our first 1oo cats, we’ve found that the cats’ tracks are just as unique as the cats themselves. The majority of our 100 cats travel less than 5 hectares (about 12 […]
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2:50 PM | Why not today? Can China up food safety if 2022 Olympics held in Beijing?
If China wants to up its food safety, white mice as food tasters is not the way to do it. But an article in Shanghai Daily states that as a candidate for 2022 Winter Olympic Games, Beijing is eager to … Continue reading →
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2:37 PM | Pretty safe: How safe are food courts in Montreal?
With a team of microbiologists from McGill University, CBC Montreal Investigates/Radio-Canada conducted tests for bacteria on tables, trays and garbage bins at four different shopping centres in the Montreal area: Fairview Pointe-Claire, the Eaton Centre, Complexe Desjardins and Champlain Mall. … Continue reading →
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1:18 PM | Hong Kong Investigating Three Cases Of Ocular Dirofilariasis
    # 9845   Dirofilariasis is a fairly rare vector borne disease with a high squick factor, as it results in the implantation and growth of filarial nematodes (roundworms) in the affected host.   Primarily infecting dogs, canids, cats, and raccoons – Dirofilaria occasionally finds its way into human hosts, where it can set up housekeeping in the lungs, in nodules under the skin, or even in the eye.   The CDC website describes Dirofilariasis as: […]
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11:06 AM | CIDRAP: Role Of Migratory Birds Questioned In US H5N2 Outbreaks
Major Global Migratory Flyways – Credit FAO   # 9843   Four months ago, in Bird Flu Spread: The Flyway Or The Highway?, we looked at the often contentious debate over the role that migratory birds play in the global spread of avian influenza viruses.  A week later, in H5N8: A Case Of Deja Flu?, we compared the recent spread of HPAI H5N8 to the 2005-2006 geographic expansion of H5N1.   While poultry producers are often quick to blame wild or migratory birds, […]
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7:00 AM | A Talmudic Conversation
We posted Talmudic Questions #118 and #119 together because they struck us as being inter-related, both sending our thoughts down similar avenues. Their appearance together on the blog prompted a lively conversation that we thought too interesting to leave buried out of sight. Moreover, we note that it is not too late to take part by posting a comment. You don't have to be an expert to contribute a comment here, or on any of our posts. We invite you to join in...
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4:00 AM | What’s a snake when there’s Wilson Pickett?
Last week it was a snake in a box of cereal, today it was a snake curled up in a sealed bag of potatoes bought from Woolworths. Who knows if these things are true, but Australia does have, uh, interesting … Continue reading →
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2:19 AM | 61 sickened: Report released in Kansas Meals on Wheels Norovirus outbreak
The most likely source of a norovirus infection in Jan. in Kansas that sickened at least 61 was the Meals on Wheels kitchen in Chanute, but enough data to pinpoint a more specific source could not be obtained. The outbreak … Continue reading →
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2:09 AM | Food fraud: Iron dust in tea and brick powder in chilli in India
Frequent warnings and raids seem to have little impact on rampant food adulteration in the district. Over the last six months, food safety officials registered 45 cases against producers and shopkeepers for selling adulterated packed food following complaints and random … Continue reading →
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2:03 AM | Going public: Why did KFC let a TV crew inside its chicken operation?
BBC television, according to Bloomberg Business, is about to give viewers an in-depth look at how KFC raises, kills, and serves millions of chickens to its British customers every year. The fast-food chain gave BBC journalists access to its operations … Continue reading →

March 18, 2015

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9:44 PM | TWiM #100: Omnis cellula e cellula
Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Michael Schmidt, Elio Schaechter and Jo Handelsman.   The TWiM team celebrates 100 episodes with a Talmudic question, and discussion of how a single mutation alters bacterial host tropism. Subscribe to TWiM (free) on iTunes, via RSS feed, by email or listen on your mobile device with the Microbeworld app. Links for this episode A single mutation alters bacterial tropism (Nat Gen) Talmudic […]
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7:30 PM | OIE Notification: LPAI H7N3 At California Turkey Farm
Merced County - Credit Wikipedia   # 9842   This news was telegraphed several hours ago when we saw the announcement that  Hong Kong bans import of poultry meat and products from Merced County, California, US, but we now have an OIE notification with preliminary details of this low path H7N3 outbreak.   In it’s HPAI form, H7N3 has caused major losses and disruptions in the poultry industry, including in the 2005 Fraser Valley (B.C.) outbreak in 2004 that […]
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6:40 PM | Analysis for Salmonella of all imported beef products sampled for Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC)
This notice provides instructions for import inspection personnel to follow when collecting samples for Escherichia coli (E. coli) O157:H7 and other Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) that will also be analyzed for Salmonella. Raw beef samples, including import MT08 and … Continue reading →
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