Posts

September 07, 2014

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5:00 AM | Leafy greens cone of silence; Phoenix E. coli victim sues Trader Joe’s, salad maker
A Phoenix man is suing Trader Joe’s and Glass Onion Catering and Gourmet Foods, the manufacturer of ready-to-eat salads that were linked to an outbreak of a deadly strain of E. coli last year that sickened 33 people in four … Continue reading →
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4:53 AM | 38 sick, blame Germany: second Salmonella outbreak, this one linked to meat
The 38 human cases of monophasic Salmonella Typhimurium detected recently in six Member States are likely to be part of the same cluster, a joint EFSA/ECDC report has found. Based on limited available information from food investigations, meat is the … Continue reading →
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4:49 AM | ‘Strict regulations’ with hundreds sick; European health types confirm Salmonella eggs from Germany
Sporadic or outbreak cases of Salmonella Enteritidis reported by Austria, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, in addition to one case reported in Luxembourg in a patient residing in France, appear to be linked by time of symptom onset and … Continue reading →
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3:59 AM | 139 sickened: characterization of three Bacillus cereus strains involved in outbreak of food poisoning after consumption of fermented black beans (douchi) in Yunan, China
Three Bacillus cereus strains isolated from an outbreak of food poisoning caused by the consumption of fermented black beans (douchi) containing B. cereus is described. The outbreak involved 139 persons who had nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The strains were isolated … Continue reading →
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3:52 AM | Don’t look, don’t find: experts guess at proportion of illness acquired by foodborne transmission for nine enteric pathogens in Australia
Background: Estimates of the burden of illness acquired from food inform public health policy and prioritize interventions. A key component of such estimates is the proportion of illnesses that are acquired by foodborne transmission. In view of the shortage of … Continue reading →
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3:42 AM | Gene sequencing refines threatening Cryptosporidium list
Twenty-six species of Cryptosporidium have been recognised and 18 species declared non-valid in a recent shake-up of the parasite’s taxonomy using DNA sequencing techniques. Cryptosporidium is the second biggest cause of infant diarrhoea and death in developing countries, and is … Continue reading →

September 06, 2014

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1:03 PM | The Berlin patient
Since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, an estimated 75 million people have been infected with HIV. Only one person, Timothy Ray Brown, has ever been cured of infection. Brown was diagnosed with HIV while living in Berlin in 1995, and was treated with anti-retroviral drugs for more than ten years. In 2007 he was diagnosed with […]
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12:38 PM | CDC Ebola Travel Messaging: A Signage of The Times
  # 9046     Last spring, when MERS-CoV began to spread aggressively across the Middle East, we saw some informational signs go up in International Airports (see MERS Advisories Go Up In Some US Airports) warning travelers about the risks, and what symptoms to watch for, with that emerging coronavirus. Yesterday, as part of their Communication Resources for Use by International Partners, the CDC unveiled similar signage for the rapidly progressing Ebola epidemic in […]
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11:18 AM | Investigation of Listeria, Salmonella, and toxigenic E. coli in various pet foods
The Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network (Vet-LIRN), in collaboration with the Food Emergency Response Network (FERN) and its Microbiology Cooperative Agreement Program (MCAP) laboratories, conducted a study to evaluate the prevalence of selected microbial organisms in various types of … Continue reading →
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11:12 AM | Enterovirus D-68 (HEV-D68) Update
States reporting suspected or confirmed HEV-D68     # 9045   Although lab confirmation is still awaited in some areas, the outbreak of severe respiratory illness in kids that we saw pop up N.W. Missouri a little over a week ago (see Kansas City Outbreak Identified As HEV 68), and then a few days later in St. Louis (see Missouri Health Alert On Enterovirus 68), has now been reported in at least four more states. This week we’ve seen media reports of […]
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8:55 AM | Growth and survival of Enterobacteriaceae and inoculated salmonella on walnut hulls and maturing walnut fruit
Postharvest contamination of in-shell walnuts may occur when the fruit is dropped to or harvested from the orchard floor or as the outer hull is removed with mechanical abrasion and water. To evaluate the effect of maturity on the potential … Continue reading →
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8:41 AM | Tracking an Escherichia coli O157:H7–contaminated batch of leafy greens through a pilot-scale fresh-cut processing line
Cross-contamination of fresh-cut leafy greens with residual Escherichia coli O157:H7–contaminated product during commercial processing was likely a contributing factor in several recent multistate outbreaks. Consequently, radicchio was used as a visual marker to track the spread of the contaminated product … Continue reading →
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5:26 AM | The Paleomicrobiology of Malaria Detection
Malaria is arguably one of the most influential infectious diseases in human history. Its been with us as long as we have been human, but as Teddi Setzer shows us in her recent review of detection methods, our abilities to find it in the past leaves a lot to be desired. The standard method of […]
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3:38 AM | The Paleomicrobiology of Malaria
Malaria is arguably one of the most influential infectious diseases in human history. Its been with us as long as we have been human, but as Teddi Setzer shows us in her recent review of detection methods, our abilities to find it in the past leaves a lot to be desired. The standard method of […]
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2:39 AM | Paperwork, paper pushing policies push people past pressure points
So I am going to make this simple here.  Paperwork at UC Davis is driving me batty these days.  One thing in particular does not make much sense to me. When I or anyone who works in my lab go on trips associated with work, we have to collect all the receipts for the trip and then these need to be submitted in an intemized way for reimbursement.  With a lot of people going on a lot of trips, this amounts to a lot of work for us, for my administrative assistant, for the UC Davis […]

September 05, 2014

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5:12 PM | WHO Statement: Consultation On Potential Use of Ebola Therapies & Vaccines
# 9044   The WHO press conference is still ongoing, but the World Health Organization has emailed out a statement (see below) that summarizes the findings of the two-day consultation on the use of experimental Ebola drugs and vaccines. Audio files on the press conference (and later video) should be available later this afternoon at http://www.who.int/mediacentre/en/   For now, the most immediately available experimental therapy – at least in some facilities […]
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4:19 PM | Before They Were Scientists: Emilie Rissman
It was an honor to chat with biologist Dr. Emilie Rissman before she officially assumes the role of department head for the Department of Biological Sciences in the College of Sciences here at at NC State University. My M.O., of course, was to learn about her life as a middle school student and what it was about her particular experiences back then that brought her to where she is today. Read on to learn how her middle school years spanned very different experiences in […]
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4:16 PM | WHO Ebola Response Roadmap SitRep #2 – Sept 5th
Ebola Hotspots – Sitrep # 2     # 9043   Today the World Health Organization has released their second in a series of weekly situation updates in their new Ebola Response Roadmap format (see last week’s SitRep #1).  This report describes Ebola transmission over the past three weeks in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea as being `dramatically increased’, and both `widespread and intense‘.     A few excerpts from the report, but […]
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12:24 PM | NIOSH: Today Is N95 Day
  # 9042 PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment), including N95 respirators, are important tools to ensure worker safety in a variety of hazardous environments, and the government agency in charge of testing and certifying many types of PPEs is the NPPTL  (National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory) a division of NIOSH. Each year, on September 5th, they promote N95 day to help educate employers, workers, hobbyists - and anyone else who might need respiratory […]
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11:47 AM | CCDR: Ebola Preparedness Guidance For Canada
Credit CDC PHIL   # 9041   With West Africa’s Ebola spiraling out of control in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia – and making inroads into Nigeria and Senegal – the expectation is that it is simply a matter of time before a few cases are `exported’  to countries outside of Africa – possibly including countries in North America and Europe.   We’ve previously looked at a number of CDC  Guidance documents for the handling […]
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10:34 AM | NPM14: The Advantages Of Having A Shaky Preparedness Plan
2014 Update of the United States National Seismic Hazard Maps   # 9040   Although I’ve lived most of my life in Florida - one of the few regions of the United States with little or no seismic risk - I did spend a decade living within spitting distance of the New Madrid fault (well inside the red bulls eye in the middle of the map above).   While earthquakes were always a concern, the added hazards of ice storms, floods (we lived on a river), and tornadoes also […]
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10:22 AM | Food safety for Father’s Day (in Australia)
The teacher looked at me as we arrived at school this morning: Sorenne, you’re with me, dad, take her backpack upstairs and meet us over for assembly. My mom taught kindergarten (what is called prep in Australia) for some 40 … Continue reading →
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2:39 AM | Food fraud: UK Elliott Review, a national food crime prevention framework
Food fraud has been going on as long as food has been traded. Madeleine Ferrières a professor of social history at the University of Avignon, France, wrote in Sacred Cow, Mad Cow: A History of Food Fears, first published in … Continue reading →
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2:03 AM | E. coli O157 in Alberta linked to pork?
Nine days ago, Alberta Health Services said there was confirmed 130 cases of E.coli O157  infection in Alberta and urged people to wash their hands with hot, soapy water — especially after using the bathroom. Bureaucratic BS. Today, the Canadian Food Inspection … Continue reading →
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1:32 AM | Survival of Escherichia coli on strawberries grown under greenhouse conditions
One of the benefits of living in Brisbane is the four seasons of strawberries, unlike the three weeks in Canada. We eat endless amounts. There has been the occasional outbreak, usually due to ruminant contamination with shiga-toxin producing E. coli. … Continue reading →
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12:52 AM | McDonald’s meat supplier OSI might quit China after scandal
US-based food supplier OSI may withdraw from the market in China after its Shanghai arm Husi Food supplied expired meat to fast food chains, including McDonald’s and KFC. McDonald’s China has officially terminated its partnership with Husi and has teamed … Continue reading →
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12:46 AM | Prevalence of Arcobacter (close to Campylobacter) species among humans, 2008–2013, Belgium
We examined fecal samples from 6,774 patients with enteritis in Belgium, 2008–2013. Members of the genus Arcobacter werethe fourth most common pathogen group isolated, and the isolation rate was higher than previously reported. Culturing Arcobacter in a microbiology laboratory is … Continue reading →
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12:04 AM | Nice letter to the editor in the Davis Enterprise taking on school district's anti-science tone
I assume many people heard about the recently released report from the American Academy of Pediatrics where they recommended high school classes start later in the morning than most do right now.  See for example: Let Them Sleep: AAP Recommends Delaying Start Times of Middle and High Schools to Combat Teen Sleep Deprivation.  And this report was covered in all sorts of newsy and bloggy places.   See for example, Amy Graff's article in SFGate and Deborah Netburn in the […]

September 04, 2014

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4:17 PM | WHO Ebola Update – Sept 4th
Credit CDC PHIL     # 9039   With the caveats that the numbers are constantly changing, and that in some areas reporting and surveillance is either scant or nonexistent, we have the latest update from the World Health Organization.   With the recent imported case into Senegal, this DON now covers 5 African nations. Ebola virus disease outbreak – west Africa Disease outbreak news 4 September 2014 Epidemiology and surveillance […]
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2:48 PM | Spike is on his way to Long Island: What does that mean for Tom and Jerry?
Like the best stories, the Tom & Jerry cartoon is rooted in basic principles of real life: dogs chase cats and cats chase mice. Spike was the bulldog that terrorized Tom the cat, to the benefit of little Jerry the mouse. You might be surprised to hear that there is real predator-prey science behind the violent comedy of Tom & Jerry. Larger carnivores really do terrorize their smaller rivals, and the results trickle down to affect smaller prey, the mice and squirrels of the world. And […]
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