Posts

April 11, 2015

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11:17 AM | Saudi Arabia Replaces Minister Of Health (Again)
Saudi Arabia   # 9928   It was just shy of a year ago that long-serving  Minister of Health  Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabiah  was abruptly replaced by Dr. Adel bin Mohammed Faqih (see Saudi Minister Of Health Replaced), presumably over the Ministry’s lack of progress in controlling the MERS outbreak.   Dr.Faqih’s reign ended in early December (see Saudi King Appoints New MOH Amid Sweeping Changes To Ministries), with the instatement of Dr. Muhammad […]
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3:48 AM | Can humans get Norovirus from their dogs?
Human norovirus may infect our canine companions, according to research published online April 1 in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology. That raises the possibility of dog-to-human transmission, said first author Sarah Caddy, … Continue reading →
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3:39 AM | D.C. Target’s grocery area shut down after health violations, including rodent droppings
D.C. residents who like to do their grocery shopping at Target need to find another place to purchase their food for now. The D.C. Department of Health suspended the retailer’s license at its Columbia Heights store after it failed a … Continue reading →

April 10, 2015

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11:05 PM | 107 sick: Contaminated fried fish causes food poisoning in Vietnam
The Food Administration of Vietnam yesterday announced fried egg fish goldfish to poison 107 workers of Star Company in Phu Nghia Industrial Park in Chuong My District in Hanoi. 107 workers of Star Company were hospitalized on April 8 after … Continue reading →
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10:59 PM | The Eyes have it? Iowa researchers study retinal scans as early detection method for mad cow disease
New research from Iowa State University shows that a fatal neurological disease in cows can be detected earlier by examining the animal’s retinas. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), known more commonly as mad cow disease, is an untreatable neurodegenerative disorder caused … Continue reading →
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10:54 PM | 5 sick from Salmonella: Idaho restaurant closed
The Central District Health Department on Thursday suspended the food establishment license of a Boise restaurant linked to five cases of Salmonella poisoning. Pho Tam, located at 1098 N. Orchard St., was shut down after health inspectors found two critical … Continue reading →
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7:15 PM | Minnesota: Four More Farms Hit By HPAI H5N2
  # 9927   The number of commercial turkey operations in Minnesota hit by the HPAI H5N2 avian flu continues to rise, with 4 new farms announced today, making a total of 13. The hardest hit county has been Stearns, which reports its 4th infected farm today. The three new areas reporting this avian flu virus are Cottonwood, Lyon and Watonwan counties, all clustered in the southwestern part of the state.    According to media reports a team of USDA  […]
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2:28 PM | Discover the Puerto Rico Trench with America’s Ocean Exploration Team
Every two years people around the world suddenly obsessively watch odd niche sports like ice dancing, biathalon, and rhythmic gymnastics. So I wish similar enthusiasm could be summoned for the... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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11:55 AM | CDC: Updated Interim Guidance On Handling & Treatment Of Novel Flu Infections
Photo Credit – Wikipedia     # 9926     Although HPAI H7N9 and HPAI H5N1 human infections remain almost exclusively an Asian or Middle Eastern problem, the potential for seeing an imported case (as we already have with two H7N9 & 1 H5N1 cases in Canada) certainly exists, as does the possibility of infection by one of the recently arrived (and reassorted) HPAI H5 viruses in North America. This winter’s unprecedented H5N1 outbreak in Egypt, in […]
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11:05 AM | Hong Kong Notified Of Additional H7N9 Cases On The Mainland
    # 9925   On Wednesday, in FluTrackers: Zhejiang Province Reports 10 H7N9 Cases In March, we saw the belated announcement of 10 additional H7N9 cases from Zhejiang province (buried in an EOM spreadsheet).    This winter we’ve witnessed a disappointing lack of timely and detailed avian flu reporting out of both Egypt and China (see More Than One Way to `Contain An Outbreak’).   Today, Hong Kong’s CHP takes note of those […]
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10:46 AM | J. Virology: Genetics, Receptor Binding & Virulence (in Mice) Of Avian H10N8
Flu Virus binding to Receptor Cells – Credit CDC   # 9924   With all of the attention being given to the H7 and H5 avian flu strains this winter (see The Transmission Potential Of A(H7N9) In China & WHO: H5 Currently The Most Obvious Avian Flu Threat) it is easy to forget there are other avian subtypes on our radar as well.    We’ve seen a handful of scattered H9N2 infections over the years, and even a one-off H6N1 in Taiwan in 2013. […]
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9:12 AM | Inspections and audits are never enough: Blue Bell Listeria-in-ice-cream version
Days after a foodborne illness was linked to Blue Bell ice cream products, a state inspection of an Oklahoma plant later tied to the infection praised the facility for having no violations and doing a “great job,” according to a … Continue reading →
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8:41 AM | Seek and ye shall find: Multistate outbreak of listeriosis linked to Blue Bell Creameries products
As Blue Bell ice cream thingies recalled more products, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control announced that eight people are now sick – including three dead — and that this is a complex and ongoing multistate outbreak of listeriosis occurring … Continue reading →
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5:33 AM | Over 100 sick: Probable Norovirus shuts Toby Carvery in UK
I never knew what a carvery was until I went to the UK in 2010 with Amy and a young Sorenne. We visited my great-uncle Keith in Newport, Wales, and I drove us to the carvery for lunch, and almost … Continue reading →
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3:47 AM | A transmissible cancer of soft-shell clams
A leukemia-like cancer is killing soft-shell clams along the east coast of North America. The cancer is transmitted between animals in the ocean, and appears to have originated in a single clam as recently as 40 years ago. Hemic neoplasm is a disease of marine bivalves that is characterized by proliferation of morphologically and functionally aberrant hemocytes, the […]
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3:30 AM | Syn Bio and twitter
Well I've so far avoided getting on twitter (or facebook) as I have enough time sinks already. This probably makes me a fossil. I recently hosted a planning meeting to start organizing a bid for a Synthetic Biology Centre. My colleague Louise Brown is very active on twitter, and commemorated the occasion with this tweet.  In case you don't want to follow the link, here's the photo of us
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3:05 AM | JAMS turns 4, Blog turns 3
Well, I'm a month or so late, but JAMS (Joint Academic Microbial Seminars) had its 4th birthday, and celebrated in its usual fashion by holding an afternoon symposium, followed by dinner at the Australian Museum.Excellent speakers as usual, the highlight for me was Kat Holt's talk on using genomics to understand the epidemiology and evolution of bacterial pathogens causing diseases such as typhoid and dysentery.A talk on typhoid and dysentery is of course a perfect lead in to dinner, which was […]
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1:03 AM | New research or PR: Why paper towels are the most hygienic way to dry your hands?
I have no problem with who funds research, as long as there is full disclosure and the methodology is available for critique in a peer-reviewed journal. That would be the public part. The Daily Mail in the UK thinks readers … Continue reading →
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12:46 AM | Predictive models to estimate Listeria spp. growth on baby spinach leaves
Leafy vegetables such as spinach may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes during pre-harvest and postharvest management. Recent Listeriosis outbreaks associated to contaminated leafy vegetables have marked the need for technologies to minimize safety issues in fresh and fresh-cut produce. US … Continue reading →

April 09, 2015

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11:30 PM | Today's Spammy journal Editorial Board Offer #1
Just got this - pretty lame given that, well, I do not do anything related to this journal.Dear Dr.Jonathan A Eisen,  Hope this mail brings you good health and prosperityFisheries and Aquaculture Journal is successfully publishing quality open access journals with the support from scientists like you. We are aware of your reputation for quality of research and trustworthiness in the field of science and thereby we request you to be an Editorial Board Member of our Fisheries and […]
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10:03 PM | Don’t eat (dog) poop in restaurant: UK pub fined £14K
The owner of an East Yorkshire pub has appeared in court after a diner found dog excrement on the restaurant floor. Out-of-date food was also sold to customers and prepared in a mouldy kitchen at The Steer Inn in Wilberfoss. … Continue reading →
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9:59 PM | ‘No AA cause I don’t quit’ Cockroaches lead to closure of Jose’s Real Cuban Food in Florida
We’ve driven by this place during our various times in Bradenton on Florida’s Gulf side, and decided to pass. In the eight years of operating his business, the owner of Jose’s Real Cuban Food Jose Baserva says he has had mostly … Continue reading →
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9:30 PM | South Korean firm recalls Salmonella-infected milk
Binggrae, a major food firm, has recalled thousands of milk cartons found to be infected with Salmonella, the company said Thursday. The company recalled some 128,000 340-milliliter cartons of “melon milk” after the company received a lab report indicating the … Continue reading →
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9:21 PM | Money where your mouth is: A shortage of funds for US food safety
The N.Y. Times writes in an editorial that a farsighted food safety law enacted in 2011 has faced obstacles to meaningful enforcement ever since, including delays in issuing necessary rules and a shortage of money. Now, in what may become … Continue reading →
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6:07 PM | APHIS: 2nd South Dakota Turkey Farm Hit By HPAI H5N2
  # 9923   APHIS HPAI avian flu notifications continue to come in on practically a daily basis (8 farms hit in 9 days), with a second farm in South Dakota now reporting the virus.  This makes the 16th commercial poultry operation in the United States to be hit by either HPAI H5N2 or HPAI H5N8 in 2015.   Mashup of Commercial Farms only – Source USDA Here is the APHIS notification on the latest outbreak, in Kingsbury County SD.   USDA Confirms […]
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5:45 PM | OIE: Mexico Reports HPAI H7N3 In Two States
  # 9922   During late June of 2012 we saw the first report in nearly 2 decades of an HPAI in Mexico (see Mexico: High Path H7 In Jalisco), an outbreak that quickly spread among neighboring poultry farms, leading Mexico To Declare a National H7N3 Animal Health Emergency in early July.   During the next few months 22 million birds either died from the virus, or were culled to prevent its spread. Sporadic outbreaks continued well into the summer of  2013 (see OIE […]
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3:50 PM | WHO MERS Update – Saudi Arabia
Coronavirus – Credit CDC PHIL   # 9921     The World Health Organization has posted an update on 12 recently reported MERS cases (between March 24th-31st) from Saudi Arabia.  While the epidemiological investigation continues on some of these cases, from the synopsis we learn that:   5 Cases have no known Risk Exposure 4 Cases had some camel and/or sheep contact but their actual source of infection is not known 2 Cases had direct contact with […]
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2:06 PM | CDC Statement On Canine Influenza In Chicago
  3D model generic Flu Virus – Credit CDC PHIL   # 9920     Up until a dozen years ago, most veterinarians would have told you that dogs are not generally susceptible to influenza viruses, but that notion changed in 2004 when we saw the jump of equine H3N8-like influenza to Florida greyhounds.   In 2008, an EID Journal article reported:   Influenza A Virus (H3N8) in Dogs with Respiratory Disease, Florida Sunchai Payungporn*, P. Cynda […]
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12:43 PM | WHO H5N1 Update For Egypt – Thru March 31st
  # 9919   We’ve an update today from the World Health Organization’s EMRO division, which is current through March 31st, 2015, that shows 159 H5N1 cases and 49 deaths since this outbreak began in early November of 2014.      In the first 3 months of the year there have been  125 cases and 33 deaths reported, which is more than triple Egypt’s previous highest one-year total.    Since March 31st we’ve been […]
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12:14 PM | Saudi MOH: 1 MERS Case In Hail
    # 9918   This time last year we were beginning to see the start of what would turn out to be an explosion of MERS cases in Saudi Arabia, a spike that would see more than 500 people infected in just over a 2-month period.   As the chart above shows, we saw an early peak in late February, and since then a fairly steady decline.   We’ll have to wait to see if another spring surge is in the offing.   In the meantime, after three days […]
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