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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

CDC Outbreak Response Team – 2011 was a Busy Year

US_CDC_Seal.jpgWhile many of us have been wondering what the Kardashians will do next, or who will be cut from dancing with the stars, or what silly thing the Republican Presidential race will bring next, The CDC’s Outbreak Response Team has been busy protecting us, or at least figuring out what happened afterwards.

The CDC’s Outbreak Response Team collaborates with the national network of epidemiologists and other public health officials who investigate outbreaks of foodborne, waterborne, and other enteric illnesses in the United States. It works in partnership with U.S. state and local health departments, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and PulseNet (a national surveillance network made up of state and local public health laboratories and federal food regulatory agency laboratories that perform pulsed-field gel electrophoresis on bacteria that may be foodborne). The Outbreak Response Team works to ensure rapid, coordinated detection and response to multistate outbreaks of enteric diseases and promote comprehensive outbreak surveillance. It also seeks to improve the collaboration and partnership among officials in local, state, and federal agencies who work with foodborne and diarrheal disease outbreak surveillance and response.

Here are the outbreaks that the team published so far in 2011 – most recent first.  The team has likely been busier than Santa’s elves in 2011.  Let us hope they can take the rest of the year off.

Romaine Lettuce – Escherichia coli O157:H7

  • A total of 60 due to the outbreak strain of E. coli serotype O157:H7 have been reported from 10 states. The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Arizona (1), Arkansas (2), Georgia (1), Illinois (9), Indiana (2), Kansas (3), Kentucky (1), Minnesota (3), Missouri (37), and Nebraska (1).

Kosher Broiled Chicken Livers – Salmonella Heidelberg

  • A total of 179 illnesses due to Salmonella Heidelberg with the outbreak pattern were reported from 6 states. The number of ill persons identified in each state the product is distributed to is as follows: New York (99), New Jersey (61), Pennsylvania (10), Maryland (6), Ohio (2), and Minnesota (1).

Turkish Pine Nuts – Salmonella Enteriditis

  • A total of 43 individuals infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Enteritidis were reported from 5 states.  The number of ill persons identified in each state with the outbreak strain was as follows: Maryland (1), New Jersey (2), New York (28), Pennsylvania (8), and Virginia (4).

Jensen Farms Cantaloupes – Listeria monocytogenes

  • A total of 146 persons infected with any of the four outbreak-associated strains of Listeria monocytogenes were reported to CDC from 28 states. The number of infected persons identified in each state was as follows: Alabama (1), Arkansas (1), California (4), Colorado (40), Idaho (2), Illinois (4), Indiana (3), Iowa (1), Kansas (11), Louisiana (2), Maryland (1), Missouri (7), Montana (1), Nebraska (6), Nevada (1), New Mexico (15), New York (2), North Dakota (2), Oklahoma (12), Oregon (1), Pennsylvania (1), South Dakota (1), Texas (18), Utah (1), Virginia (1), West Virginia (1), Wisconsin (2), and Wyoming (4).  Thirty deaths were reported: Colorado (8), Indiana (1), Kansas (3), Louisiana (2), Maryland (1), Missouri (3), Nebraska (1), New Mexico (5), New York (2), Oklahoma (1), Texas (2), and Wyoming (1). Among persons who died, ages ranged from 48 to 96 years, with a median age of 82.5 years. In addition, one woman pregnant at the time of illness had a miscarriage.

Ground Turkey – Salmonella Heidelberg

  • A total of 136 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Heidelberg were reported from 34 states with illness onset dates between February 27 and September 13, 2011. The number of ill persons identified in each state was as follows: Alabama (1), Arkansas (1), Arizona (3), California (7), Colorado (4), Connecticut (1), Georgia (2), Illinois (16), Indiana (2), Iowa (2), Kansas (3), Kentucky (2), Louisiana (1), Massachusetts (4), Maryland (1), Michigan (12), Minnesota (2), Mississippi (2), Missouri (7), Nebraska (2), Nevada (1), New Jersey (1), New York (3), North Carolina (4), Ohio (12), Oklahoma (2), Oregon (1), Pennsylvania (8), South Dakota (3), Tennessee (2), Texas (18), Utah (1), Vermont (1), and Wisconsin (4).

Whole, Fresh Imported Papayas – Salmonella Agona

  • A total of 106 individuals infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Agona were reported from 25 states between January 1 and August 25, 2011. The number of ill persons identified in each state with the outbreak strain was as follows: Arkansas (1), Arizona (4), California (8), Colorado (1), Georgia (8), Illinois (18), Indiana (1), Kentucky (1), Louisiana (2), Massachusetts (1), Minnesota (3), Missouri (3), Nebraska (2), Nevada (1), New Jersey (1), New Mexico (3), New York (9), Ohio (1), Oklahoma (1), Pennsylvania (2), Tennessee (1), Texas (25), Virginia (2), Washington (5), and Wisconsin (2).

African Dwarf Frogs – Salmonella Typhimurium

  • A total of 241 individuals infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium have been reported from 42 states since April 1, 2009. The number of ill person identified in each state is as follows: Alaska (5), Alabama (2), Arizona (10), California (21), Colorado (12), Connecticut (3), Florida (1), Georgia (4), Idaho (5), Illinois (10), Indiana (1), Kansas (3), Kentucky (4), Louisiana (3), Massachusetts (7), Maryland (5), Michigan (6), Minnesota (1), Missouri (5), Mississippi (1), Montana (2), North Carolina (1), Nebraska (2), New Hampshire (4), New Jersey (5), New Mexico (2), Nevada (4), New York (8), Ohio (7), Oklahoma (2), Oregon (5), Pennsylvania (17), Rhode Island (1), South Dakota (3), Tennessee (4), Texas (5), Utah (19), Virginia (11), Vermont (1), Washington (24), Wisconsin (4) and West Virginia (1).

Alfalfa and Spicy Sprouts – Salmonella Enteritidis

  • A total of 25 persons with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Enteritidis have been reported from 5 states: Idaho (3), Montana (10), New Jersey (1), North Dakota (1) and Washington (10).

Travel to Germany – Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O104

  • During the outbreak period a total of 4,321 cases were reported to the RKI, including 3,469 EHEC cases and 852 HUS cases. In total 50 patients died, including 18 EHEC patients and 32 HUS patients.  According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control 76 EHEC including 1 patient who died and 49 HUS cases (as of July, 22nd 2011) were reported across other countries of the European Union.  In the United States, six confirmed cases of STEC O104:H4 infections have been identified. Of these six cases, five recently traveled to Germany, where they were likely exposed. Bacterial isolates from four HUS cases reported in Arizona (1), Massachusetts (1), Michigan (1) and Wisconsin (1), and two cases with diarrheal illness reported in Michigan (1) and North Carolina (1), have all been confirmed as matching the outbreak strain. One death has been reported in the Arizona resident with HUS who traveled to Germany before becoming ill. The Michigan resident with diarrheal illness did not travel to Germany, but likely acquired this infection through close contact with the Michigan resident with HUS. 

Chicks and Ducklings – Salmonella Altona and Salmonella Johannesburg

  • A total of 68 individuals infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Altona were been reported from 20 states. The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Georgia (1), Illinois (1), Indiana (1), Kentucky (6), Maryland (5), Michigan (1), Minnesota (1), Mississippi (1), New Hampshire (1), New York (4), North Carolina (9), Ohio (12), Pennsylvania (6), South Carolina (1), Tennessee (3), Texas (2), Virginia (7), Vermont (1), Wisconsin (1), and West Virginia (4).

Microbiology Laboratories – Salmonella Typhimurium

  • A total of 73 individuals infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium have been reported from 35 states: AK (1), AL (3),  AZ (2), CA (1), GA (5), IA (1), ID (2), IL (3),  IN (1), KS (1), KY (3), MA (2),  MD (2),  MI (2), MN (4),  MO (2), NC (1),  ND (1),  NE (2),  NJ (2),  NM (3),  NV (1), NY (1),  OH (1),  OK (1),  OR (1),  PA (6),  SC (2),  SD (1), TN (2),  TX (1),  UT (3),  WA (5),  WI (3),  WY (1).

Turkey Burgers – Salmonella Hadar

  • A total of 12 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Hadar have been reported from 10 states: Arizona (1 case), California (1 case), Colorado (1 case), Georgia (1 case), Illinois (1 case), Missouri (1 case), Mississippi (1 case), Ohio (1 case), Washington (1 case), and Wisconsin (3 cases).

Lebanon Bologna – Escherichia coli O157:H7

  • A total of 14 persons infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli serotype O157:H7 have been reported from Maryland (3 cases), New Jersey (2 cases), North Carolina (1 case), Ohio (2 cases) and Pennsylvania (6 cases).

Del Monte Cantaloupe – Salmonella Panama

  • A total of 20 ill people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Panama have been reported from Arizona (1), California (2), Colorado (1), Maryland (1), Montana (1), Nevada (1), Oregon (6), Pennsylvania (1), Utah (1) and Washington (5).

Hazelnuts – Escherichia coli O157:H7

  • A total of eight persons infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli serotype O157:H7 were reported from Michigan (1), Minnesota (3), and Wisconsin (4).

Lets all thank the Team for its work.  The prompt surveillance of outbreaks caused by pathogens allows for illnesses to be noticed sooner and both stop the outbreak and more precisely identify the cause.  The goal of the Outbreak Response Team is clearly to identify outbreaks as soon as collaboration between states allows.  However, the end result of their work is to learn how the outbreak occurred to allow the prevention of another.  Lets hope their work slows and 2012 is used implementing was learned the hard way in 2011.

  • Paul F Schwarz

    I wonder how much the of the CDC budget will get cut?