USA – Norovirus in California: State officials work with local to control outbreak

Outbreak News Today

Food Borne Illness - Norovirus -CDC Photo

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California state health officials said they are working with local public health departments across the state to help control norovirus outbreaks that have increased in the past few weeks, and are occurring in schools and other institutional settings.

“Norovirus outbreaks usually have an annual peak like we are seeing now. They can be particularly large and disruptive in schools, affecting both students and teachers,” said CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith. “Norovirus is very infectious and can spread rapidly wherever people congregate and share food and bathroom facilities. Fortunately, most people with norovirus infection will recover quickly, usually in one to three days.”

In Yolo County, which has been hit very hard by norovirus, announced the Woodland Joint Unified School District (WJUSD), has decided to close Dingle and Tafoya elementary schools on Friday, May 26, to limit further transmission of the Norovirus in these two schools, which have experienced particularly high rates of the illness.

Current reported numbers of affected students and school staff in Yolo County since May 1 is 3,374.

Research – Antimicrobial activity of selected plant species and antibiotic drugs against Escherichia coli O157:H7

African Journal of Microbiology


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Recent research has focused on natural plant products as alternative for disease control in both developed and developing countries. Medicinal plants can be a possible source for new potent antimicrobial agents to which pathogenic strains are not resistant. The present study was carried out to determine the in vitro antimicrobial activity of 14 plant species namely; Allium sativum, Aloe vera, Bryophyllum pinnatum, Cassia ocidentalis, Citrus sinensis, Euphorbia hirta, Mangifera indica, Myristica fragrans, Ocimium gratissimum, Piper guineese, Psidium guajava, Spermacoce verticilata, Vernonia amygdalina and Zingiber officinale and 3 antibiotic drugs namely; ampicillin, ciprofloxacin and streptomycin on Escherichia coli O157:H7 isolated from human clinical sample. The extracts of the plant species were prepared by cold percolation method using ethanol and water as solvents. Phytochemical analyses of the extracts of the different plant species were determined using standard methods. Agar well diffusion method was used to evaluate the antimicrobial sensitivity test of the plant extracts and that of antibiotic drugs at different concentrations ranging from 31.25 to 500 mg/ml. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of the antimicrobial agents against Escherichia coli O157:H7 was also conducted. Phytochemical analyses of the plant species revealed the presence of bioactivity principle such as alkaloids, balsam, cardiac glucoside, flavonoids, phenols, resins, saponins, tannins, terpenes and steroids. The results showed that all the antimicrobial agents exhibited inhibitory effects against the growth of the bacterial isolate at various degrees. Among the plant species employed in the study, the ethanolic and water extracts of P. guajava showed the highest inhibitory effect against the bacterium with growth inhibition mean zone diameters of 29.9 and 26.0 mm respectively at 500 mg/ml. Following P. guagava in order of inhibitory effect against E. coli O157:H7 are ethanolic extracts A. sativum, Z. officinale, V. amygdalina and M. indica with mean zones of inhibition of 21.2, 20.8, 20.3 and 19.9 mm respectively at 500 mg/ml. The results also revealed that of the three antibiotic drugs used in the study, ciprofloxacin exhibited the highest inhibitory effect against the organism with zone of inhibition of 38.6 mm, followed by streptomycin 30.2 mm, while ampicilin had the least 22.3 mm. The MIC results reveal that some of the plant species showed similar inhibitory effect against the bacterium, while the MIC results of the rest of the plants varied from one another. The in vitro study of the antimicrobial activity of the extracts of the various plant species and that of the antibiotic drugs against E. coli O157:H7 has demonstrated that certain folk medicine can be as effective as modern medicine in combating pathogenic microorganisms.

USA – Basil seeds from Vietnam recalled because of Salmonella risk

Food Safety News

Basil seeds imported from Vietnam and sold by retailers nationwide since October of 2015 are under recall by L.A. Lucky Import & Export Inc., which found Salmonella contamination during routine testing.

The importer did not disclose the volume of basil seed implicated in the recall, which includes packets sold from October 2015 through May 15 this year. Very little traceability information is available because the only coding on the 2.1-ounce plastic packets is a UPC number of 820678201697.

“There are no other codes on the product. No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem,” according to the recall notice on the Food and Drug Administration website.

Myanmar – Eighteen villagers fall ill from food served at public religious ceremony


Eighteen people had to be hospitalized on Sunday morning after falling ill with severe cases of food poisoning, The Voice reports.

The victims ranged in age from 3 to 68 years old.

The incident took place in a village located in Chin State’s Tedim Township. According to victim testimonies, they believe that an ingredient had been misused in the food at a religious ceremony that they all attended earlier that day. That evening, all 18 people were taken to a hospital. Thankfully, their condition had improved by yesterday morning, although doctors are still keeping them for monitoring.

It’s unclear what specifically caused the food poisoning, although all the victims had consumed tea and dishes made from glutinous rice that were served at the ceremony.

USA – La Nica Products, Inc. Retira Queso Por Posible Riesgo De Salud – Listeria monocytogenes


La Nica Products, Inc. de Miami, FL está retirando seis mil libras de queso, ya que puede estar contaminada con Listeria monocytogenes, un organismo que puede causar infecciones graves y a veces fatales en niños pequeños, personas débiles o ancianas y otros con sistemas inmunológicos debilitados. Las personas sanas pueden sufrir síntomas de corto plazo como fiebre alta, dolor de cabeza intenso, rigidez, náuseas, dolor abdominal y diarrea, infección por listeria puede causar abortos espontáneos y mortinatos entre las mujeres embarazadas.

El Queso Duro Blando / Queso Blanco Duro (Morolique) fue distribuido solamente en el estado de California a través de supermercados y otras tiendas y ventas.

El queso que se retira viene en bolsas de plástico opacas de (16 onzas) y son de una libra con el nombre:

  • Quesos De La Costa
  • Queso Duro Blando
  • Hard Soft Cheese

El nombre está rodeado por un borde color naranja y hay una pequeña vaca en la etiqueta. Es un queso blanco. El queso tiene una fecha de vencimiento del 31 de agosto de 2017 y un código UPC de 8 52304 74023 2. El número de lote de este queso es 254.

Hasta la fecha no se han reportado enfermedades.

USA – Yolo County Norovirus outbreak tops 2800 cases

Outbreak News Today

Food Borne Illness - Norovirus -CDC Photo

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In a follow-up on the Norovirus outbreak in Yolo County, California, Beth Gabor, County Public Information Officer told Outbreak News Today in an email that the case count is 2836, as of May 22.

This is an increase in more than 700 cases since late last week.

Two school districts have reported in excess of 900 cases each –Washington Unified School District (918) and Woodland Joint Unified School District (908).

UC Davis has seen 61 cases to date.

Spain – Norovirus outbreak at Bellvitge Hospital linked to cafeteria snacks

Outbreak News Today


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An outbreak of acute gastrointestinal infection that has sickened some 252 hospital employees at the Hospital of Bellvitge is likely due to norovirus, according to The Public Health Agency of Catalonia via an El Espanol report (computer translated).

Health officials report all of the cases were considered mild and despite the high number of cases, it didn’t affect the operations of the hospital.

Two of the patients were confirmed to have norovirus, thus health officials believe this is the etiology of the outbreak. The preliminary investigation reveals the source of the infection is snacks served in the cafeteria.

Norovirus is a highly contagious viral illness that often goes by other names, such as viral gastroenteritis, stomach flu, and food poisoning.