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Basil suspected in Florida cyclosporiasis outbreak

first_img Jun 3 FDA news release Cases of cyclosporiasis were reported in 32 Florida counties from mid-March to mid-April, the Associated Press (AP) reported on Jun 4. The state health department found 293 laboratory-confirmed cases during that time, the FDA said in a Jun 3 news release. State health officials sought an FDA inquiry when their epidemiologic investigation pointed to fresh basil as the culprit, the FDA said. Jun 6, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is trying to uncover the source of basil believed to be responsible for nearly 300 cases of intestinal illness earlier this spring in Florida. Cyclosporiasis is caused by the one-celled parasite Cyclospora. Signs and symptoms include diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, fever, and fatigue, the FDA said. Without treatment, the illness generally lasts from a few days to a month, but it can be treated with antibiotics. As authorities looked for the source of the basil, they urged consumers to consult physicians and notify local health departments if they become sick after eating basil. Experts also suggested washing all fresh fruits and vegetables under running water before eating them. “FDA is aggressively working with our federal and state partners to determine the source of the contaminated produce and taking appropriate action to protect the public,” said Dr. Robert Brackett, director of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. Some of the cases occurred in clusters, but many cases were sporadic, the FDA said. Recent cyclosporiasis outbreaks have involved fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Separate outbreaks in Illinois and Texas in 2004 were believed to be associated with raw basil and mesclun salad. In addition, raw snow peas were implicated in an outbreak for the first time last year, when nearly 100 people got sick in Pennsylvania. Raspberries and strawberries have also been associated with outbreaks in the past. See also: The basil is a mystery product right now. Florida Secretary of Health John O. Agwunobi told the AP that officials don’t know where the basil came from or where it is being sold.last_img read more

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West Nile shot for horses is first licensed DNA vaccine

first_img More than 22,600 cases of WNV in horses were reported between 1999, when the virus first surfaced in North America, and the end of 2004, the USDA said. About a third of horses that fall ill with the mosquito-borne virus die or must be euthanized. The DNA technology used to develop the vaccine is serving as the foundation for an experimental human WNV vaccine, the CDC said. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) announced the launch of a small clinical trial of the vaccine in April of this year. The NIAID is developing the vaccine in collaboration with Vical Inc. of San Diego. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said it issued a license for the vaccine to Fort Dodge Laboratories, Fort Dodge, Iowa. The CDC helped the company develop the vaccine. “This is truly an exciting innovation and an incredible scientific breakthrough that has potential benefits far beyond preventing West Nile virus in horses,” CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding said in a news release. “This science will allow for the development of safer and more effective human and animal vaccines more quickly.” DNA vaccines are less vulnerable to changes in temperature, a major asset for vaccination campaigns in developing countries. The CDC said DNA vaccines offer important advantages over traditional vaccines: Apr 20 CIDRAP News story on human trial of WNV DNA vaccine Fort Dodge expects to make the vaccine commercially available to veterinarians early in 2006, the CDC reported. The USDA said researchers are continuing to assess how long the protection afforded by the vaccine lasts. Once a vaccine model for an organism is developed, it can be adapted fairly quickly for similar organisms, which can be a major advantage in an emerging epidemic. Jul 21, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Federal officials say a new West Nile virus (WNV) vaccine for horses, licensed this week, represents a breakthrough that may lead to important benefits for human vaccine development.center_img Work on the new vaccine began about 5 years ago at the CDC’s branch in Fort Collins, Colo. In clinical studies, the vaccine protected horses from WNV-related illness without causing any major side effects. The USDA’s Center for Veterinary Biologics determined that the vaccine’s safety and efficacy have been satisfactorily demonstrated. The way the USDA explained it, “Traditional vaccine development involves either passing a disease-producing virus through a different species or cell type until it no longer causes disease but does create immunity, or by killing the virus in such a manner that allows it to produce immunity but no disease in the recipient. DNA vaccines, by contrast, use specific fragments of a pathogen’s unique genetic material to stimulate a targeted immune response from the host.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the vaccine is the world’s first licensed DNA vaccine—one that uses small pieces of the target virus’s genetic material instead of using a weakened or killed form of the whole virus. Two other WNV vaccines for horses are licensed and commercially available now, according to the Center for Equine Health at the University of California, Davis. Fort Dodge Animal Health makes an inactivated (killed virus) vaccine, while Merial makes a live vaccine based on a canarypox virus. See also: USDA announcement In addition, horses that have received a DNA vaccine can be distinguished from those that have been naturally infected, which is helpful for disease surveillance, the CDC said. CDC news release read more

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Indonesia blames 5 deaths in family on avian flu

first_imgMay 15, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Indonesian authorities have attributed the deaths of five members of one extended family to H5N1 avian influenza, and three surviving relatives are also suspected of having the virus, according to news services.The five people who died all tested positive in local laboratories, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report yesterday. Four had died early last week, and the fifth died yesterday, the Associated Press (AP) reported. AFP said the victims included two women, two men, and an 8-year-old girl.Reports on the status of the three surviving relatives conflicted. Nyoman Kandun, director general of disease control for Indonesia’s Ministry of Health, said the three had also tested positive, according to AFP. But a Reuters report described them as suspected cases only, while some other news services did not mention them at all.The family members, from Tanah Karo village in northern Sumatra, had all been in contact with sick poultry and pigs near their homes, Kandun told AFP.However, agricultural minister Anton Apriyantono said that H5N1 had not been found in local poultry, according to Reuters. Officials continue to check poultry in and around Tanah Karo, the report said.Samples from the family members have been sent to a World Health Organization (WHO)-accredited laboratory in Hong Kong for confirmatory testing. If the WHO confirmed all eight cases, the Indonesian death toll would rise to 30, and its case total would reach 41. Indonesia’s 33 confirmed cases and 25 deaths are second only to Vietnam, which hasn’t logged a human case since November 2005, according to the AP.In addition to the five fatalities that have tested positive, a sixth family member died of suspected avian flu but was buried without being tested, the AP reported. Kandun said all nine were members of the “same family tree,” according to AFP.The WHO is paying close attention to this cluster of cases, because it may indicate human-to-human infection, according to a Reuters story. But even if human-to-human transmission occurred, it is not necessarily evidence of viral mutation, WHO spokesperson Maria Cheng told Reuters. It could be caused, as in some cases in Vietnam and Thailand, by the close contact normal in families, she said.This family cluster, however, could also come from a common animal exposure, Cheng said. Another possible factor in family clusters of H5N1 cases, flu experts have said, is a common genetic susceptibility (see link below).In other avian flu news, poultry outbreaks of H5N1 have been confirmed in three counties in central Romania, according to an AFP article. Romanian Agriculture Minister Gheorghe Flutur said, “Almost 1 million birds will be culled in total in central Romanian regions that have been hit or could be hit by bird flu.”Authorities have traced the outbreak to a single farmer who sold infected chickens to farms in three counties. Romanian authorities first reported H5N1 in poultry in October 2005, but the country has had no human cases.See also:May 4 CIDRAP News story discussing possible susceptibility to H5N1 in familieslast_img read more

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WHO: H5N1 cases in Turkey targeted children, youth

first_imgOct 31, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – A recent World Health Organization (WHO) report on 10 of the 12 confirmed H5N1 avian influenza cases that occurred in Turkey last winter adds to evidence that children and youth may be particularly susceptible to the infection.The disease struck only children younger than 16, even though their parents had probably been exposed to the same probable source of infection, infected poultry, according to the Oct 27 issue of WHO’s Weekly Epidemiological Record.”To some extent, this reflects the same age distribution observed globally, where 50.5% of cases occurred among people aged <20 years, and it suggests that age-related factors may influence susceptibility to the disease," the report states.Of the four case-patients described in the report who died, all were teenagers, while all the survivors were younger children, aged 3 to 9 years. "This reflects closely the global situation where the highest case-fatality rate (73%) has been observed in the 10-19-year age group," the article says.Turkey was the first country outside Southeast Asia to have human cases. The WHO report discusses 10 cases that occurred in the eastern provinces of Van and Agri in late December 2005 and January 2006 and were investigated by WHO epidemiologists. The two other confirmed cases in Turkey were in other provinces, according to Mary K. Kindhauser, a WHO spokeswoman in Geneva.A total of 21 human H5N1 cases had been reported in January on the basis of tests in a Turkish laboratory. But the WHO recognized only 12 cases that were confirmed by a reference laboratory in the United Kingdom.At the time of the outbreak, a WHO official reported that two Turkish boys had asymptomatic H5N1 infections. But those two cases were among the nine that were never confirmed by the UK lab, Kindhauser told CIDRAP News by e-mail today.The 10 cases covered in the report included three family clusters, one involving three cases and two involving two each. But investigators concluded that person-to-person transmission in the families was unlikely, because in each family the members fell ill within about a 2-day period, indicating they all contracted the virus from a common environmental source.Although all three family clusters occurred near one another and within a 2-week period, "field investigations provided no evidence of human-to-human transmission between households," the report says. The families had had no interactions, and the children attended different schools.Investigation indicated that close exposure to infected poultry was the primary risk factor for infection, the WHO says. All the patients had been exposed to backyard poultry, and at least five were known to have had contact with sick or dead poultry. The three families that had multiple cases had been sheltering their poultry indoors in late December because of severe cold.Two patients had pet pigeons, but the birds' possible role could not be assessed because no samples were collected from pigeons in the area, the report says.The article notes that 135 people in the two provinces had suspected cases of H5N1 and were hospitalized and treated with oseltamivir at the time, but testing ruled out all the cases.See also:Oct 27 WHO bulletin with report on H5N1 cases in Turkey 30, 2006, WHO bulletin with report on general epidemiology of H5N1 cases 30, 2006, WHO situation update on Turkish cases 11, 2006, CIDRAP News story "WHO says Turkish cases may yield new findings on H5N1"last_img read more

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E coli cases prompt beef recall by Illinois firm

first_img Meanwhile, CDC officials who are monitoring a Salmonella outbreak linked by epidemiologic investigations to ConAgra’s Banquet pot pies said in an Oct 12 update that isolates of Salmonella enterica serotype I,4,[5],12:i:- had been collected from at least 174 patients in 32 states. At least 33 people have been hospitalized. Salmonellosis typically causes fever and nonbloody diarrhea that resolves within a week. Health officials are concerned about what appears to be a surge in the number of ground beef recalls for E coli O157:H7 contamination. A few days after the Topps Meat recall, Cargill Meat Solutions of Butler, Wis., recalled about 845,000 pounds of frozen ground beef because of possible E coli contamination. The recall was announced after Minnesota health officials linked three illness reports to the company’s beef patties, which were sold through Sam’s Club stores. Though investigators have not isolated the outbreak strain from the pot pies or the company’s Marshall, Mo., production facility, the company recalled all varieties of Banquet pot pies on Oct 12 to simplify its message that consumers should not eat the pot pies. The frozen beef patties, sold under the Topps and Sam’s Choice brands, bear the establishment number “Est. 5712” on their package labels, the FSIS said. Oct 12 CIDRAP News story “ConAgra recalls pot pies as Salmonella cases rise” The FSIS did not specify the number of E coli cases or their locations. In a statement today, J&B Meats said the beef patties were made for Topps Meat Co., though J&B is not a subsidiary of Topps. The latter company, based in Elizabeth, N.J., in late September announced a recall of 21.7 million pounds of ground beef because of potential E coli contamination. The company subsequently announced it couldn’t survive the financial blow and was going out of business. In the Topps outbreak, the number of related illness cases has risen to 38 in eight states, according to an Oct 11 statement from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Most of the patients sickened in the Topps outbreak are from the Northeast. Of 26 people for whom hospitalization status was known, 17 (65%) were hospitalized, and one had HUS. See also: E coli O157:H7 produces a toxin that causes diarrhea, often bloody, and abdominal cramps but usually no fever. The illness usually resolves in 5 to 10 days, but it can cause hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), potentially leading to kidney failure or death, in 2% to 7% of patients.center_img Oct 11 CDC update on illness linked to Topps E coli outbreak Oct 15, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – An Illinois company has recalled about 173,500 pounds of frozen ground beef products because of a possible connection with Escherichia coli O157:H7 infections, as the number of cases in other recent foodborne illness outbreaks continued to mount. Oct 13 FSIS recall notice Oct 15 J&B Meats statement Oct 12 CDC update on illnesses linked to ConAgra Salmonella outbreak ConAgra has said that it believes the illnesses are probably due to undercooking by consumers. Microwave ovens vary in power, can cook products unevenly, and can lose some of their power as they age. The company also said it would revise cooking directions on packages to clarify safe preparation steps. Oct 9 CIDRAP News story “Spike in E coli–related beef recalls alarms officials” On Oct 13, J&B Meats Corp., Inc., based in Coal Valley, Ill., voluntarily recalled frozen ground sirloin and beef patties that were produced on Jun 12, 18, and 22, and were nationally distributed to retail stores, according to an Oct 13 statement from the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). The company recalled the products after the FSIS received illness reports through its consumer complaint monitoring system.last_img read more

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Boy’s illness raises Egypt’s H5N1 count to 50

first_imgApr 18, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) yesterday confirmed that a 2-year-old Egyptian boy has H5N1 avian influenza, which raised the country’s case count to 50.The boy is from Al-Honsanya in Sharkea governorate in northern Egypt, according to a statement from the WHO. He got sick on Apr 13 and was hospitalized the next day, the statement said. A notice from Egypt’s health ministry said the boy received oseltamivir (Tamiflu), according to an Apr 16 report from the Kuwait News Agency.Two labs, Egypt’s Central Public Health Laboratories and US Naval Medical Research Unit 3 (NAMRU-3) in Cairo, confirmed that his samples were positive for the H5N1 virus, the WHO reported.An investigation into the source of the boy’s infection revealed that he had had contact with sick and dead poultry before he became ill.The boy’s illness marked Egypt’s second case in less than a week. On Apr 11, Egypt’s health ministry reported that a 30-year-old woman from Matariya district, just north of Cairo, died of an H5N1 infection. Her death raised Egypt’s H5N1 fatality total to 22.See also:Apr 17 WHO statementlast_img read more

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E coli cases found in 4 more states

first_imgEditor’s note: The original version of this story listed 44 E coli cases in five states. The story was updated shortly after publication to include new information about another case from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A CDC investigator said the Kentucky patient lives near the Ohio line, but the New York and Indiana patients did not travel to either Ohio or Michigan, according to a Jul 15 Associated Press report. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported the Indiana, Kentucky, and New York cases yesterday and the Georgia case today. With the four latest illnesses, the outbreak stands at 45 cases, including 20 in Michigan and 21 in Ohio, according to the CDC. Jul 8 CIDRAP News story “Company expands beef recall, counters USDA criticsm” CDC update The US Department of Agriculture has confirmed that none of the affected products are still for sale in stores, but consumers should check their refrigerators and discard any involved products or return them for a refund, the CDC said.center_img Illnesses in the outbreak began between May 27 and Jun 24, according to the CDC. Twenty-three patients were hospitalized. There have been no deaths, but one patient suffered hemolytic-uremic syndrome, a potentially fatal type of kidney failure. Jul 16, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – An Escherichia coli O157:H7 outbreak previously limited to Ohio and Michigan has expanded with the identification in the past 2 days of one case each in Indiana, Kentucky, New York, and Georgia, federal officials have announced. The outbreak has been linked by epidemiologic studies and molecular fingerprinting to ground beef sold at Kroger Co. stores, the CDC has said. The cases led to a ground-beef recall by Kroger stores in Michigan and Ohio on Jun 25; on Jul 3 this was expanded to several other states. The outbreak also prompted a Jun 30 recall of 531,000 pounds of ground-beef components by Omaha-based Nebraska Beef Ltd. The company expanded the recall to 5.3 million pounds on Jul 3. See also: last_img read more

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Benchmarking research of campsites in Croatia

first_imgWe bring you an interesting research Benchmarking of Croatian camps for the Croatian Camping Association (KUH) conducted from month to month by the Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management from Opatija. A total of 31 campsites are participating in the Benchmarking project from which relevant data such as camp occupancy, utilization rate, revenue per night, average length of stay and many others can be extracted.As part of Benchmarking for the month of October 2017, a total of 19.359 accommodation units in campsites were included, ie a capacity of 58.077 people, which is 24% of the total accommodation capacity of campsites in Croatia.Otherwise, Benchmarking is the process of measuring and comparing a company’s operations, products and services with the best, either within the company’s area of ​​operation or outside it. Benchmarking is a process based on comparing one’s own dimensions (processes, products, costs, etc.) with a company that deserves to be a measure of value.Side dish: Camping benchmarking, monthly report / October 2017last_img read more

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Luka Kolovrat, director of the Imotski Tourist Board: Imotski Krajina is recording record numbers this year

first_imgMost overnight stays were made by guests from Germany (5.092), Great Britain (1.534) and Sweden (1.451). Currently, Imotski Krajina has 319 accommodation facilities, and in them, according to data from August 21, there are about 1.060 guests. Source / photo: Imotski Tourist Board “The destination is developing, every year in addition to accommodation facilities, restaurants, wineries, taverns, agencies, rental of bicycles, kayaks, quads and the like are opened.”, Explains Kolovrat and adds:”It is our job to develop public tourist facilities such as lookouts, bicycle and hiking trails, a geo-park, to invest even more funds in all forms of promotion, events and the like. In a year or two, we will launch a destination quality management system.” “This season is very good. Last year we had a total of 73.830 overnight stays, and this year 25.8. we have already passed the figure of 80.000 overnight stays. We hope to reach the number of 100.000 overnight stays this year, which was science fiction for us a few years ago.”, Kolovrat pointed out and added that they currently have 319 accommodation facilities, of which about 250 are holiday homes. “I don’t think we have reached the maximum yet because it is an area of ​​700 square kilometers. Part of the facilities will be regulated by the market and trends over time.”Concluded Kolovrat. When we look at the cumulative results in the first 6 months, Imotski Krajina was visited by 2.806 guests (20 percent more than the same period last year) who realized 14.927 overnight stays (57 percent more than last record year).center_img It’s last year Split-Dalmatia County received the first tourist board in the area of ​​”Imota”. It is a project by which the tourist offer in the Imotski region has been united, and thus it has become more easily accessible to many tourists, who in recent years have been discovering the natural beauties of the Imotski region in increasing numbers. The Imotski Tourist Board includes nine local self-government units. Director Luka Kolovrat explains how, thanks to the unification, one can now think about the whole destination. “For example, we have made a strategy for the development of the entire region and are now working on bike paths. Before joining, we could only do the trail in Imotski, which is irrelevant, and now we are doing 13 trails with a total of 375 kilometers”, Kolovrat points out. The Tourist Board is very satisfied with the tourist indicators of the first half of the year. The Imotski region records a significant increase in arrivals and overnight stays. June was especially rich in tourism, when they recorded 1.657 arrivals (25 percent more than in June last year) and 10.982 overnight stays (as much as 77 percent more than last year).last_img read more

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Google’s new travel brands pose major financial challenges for TripAdvisor and Expedia

first_imgOver the past year, Google has introduced more of its own travel brands into search results, directed more traffic to its consolidated travel sites, and integrated most of its travel products into Google Maps. Shift. When asked about Google’s influence on Expedition, Okerstrom explained how Google is installing new modules in its search engine, thus directing more and more users to brands such as Google Hotel and Google Flight, which has not been the case so far. He added that the moves resulted in “traffic changes“For the Expedition. Source / photo: Skift Last week, TripAdvisor commented on the fact that revenues in most of their business, officially called “Hotels, Media and Platform”, fell 12 percent in the third quarter, compared to last year, to $ 238 million. “We believe that our biggest challenge is Google’s ‘pushing’ its own hotel brands into search results, thereby diverting quality traffic that would otherwise find its way to TripAdvisor via free links and generating high earnings from click-based ads.”, They said from TripAdvisor. For its part, Expedia Group intends to encourage direct booking – new Instagram and Facebook influencer campaigns have been mentioned, as well as brand advertising – and strengthen its loyalty programs. TripAdvisor, on the other hand, plans to limit costs and develop hotel and media products that are not based on click revenue, and step up personalization development. Expedia Group CEO Mark Ockerstrom said Google is taking over “more and more revenue per visitor and I think that’s the reality of the world on the Internet and the importance of Google at the top of that funnel”. Both Ockerstrom and Kaufer complain that their organic and free links are falling further and further on the list of search results on Google because the largest Internet search engine favors their own travel brands. The CEOs of TripAdvisor and Expedia Group last week discussed how Google’s practice of directing search traffic negatively impacts their business in the third quarter.last_img read more

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