The Davidson County Health Department has received reports of two middle school students who have been diagnosed with apparent E. coli, officials announced Saturday.

According to a news release from the Davidson County Health Department, it has received reports of two middle school students who have been hospitalized with a recent history of severe, bloody diarrhea.

“Our sincerest thoughts go out to the families of these two students who have experienced illness,” said Monecia Thomas, Davidson County Health Department health director. “We want the community to know that if they have been sick during the month of December with severe abdominal cramps and diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, to please call the Davidson County Health Department at 242-2300 and if you are still sick, to please seek medical care.”

Both of the hospitalized students have Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, a serious complication often caused by E. coli infection. A spokeswoman with the health department confirmed to The Dispatch that the students are from Tyro Middle School.

The Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH)’s report of its investigation of an Escherichia coli O157:H7 outbreak in which 94 ill persons were identified was released today.

According to the report, the source of the outbreak was traced to a single location of Federico’s Mexican Restaurant chain located at 13132 W. Camelback Rd., Litchfield Park, with exposure dates occurring from July 18-30, 2013. A case-control study of 180 persons was performed, and environmental samples were collected on multiple dates.

The findings from the environmental samples and the case-control study both implicated contaminated lettuce as a probable source of the outbreak and vehicle for the E. coli that caused illness.  Midwest Beef supplied beef and produce to Federico’s Mexican Restaurant.

The report further found:

It is notable that the food supplier that provides produce to this restaurant also provides food to other Federico’s locations in Phoenix, as well as other food establishments in the valley. No confirmed cases of illness were recorded from other local restaurants. This point source exposure could have occurred due to contamination at any one of several levels. It could have occurred at the restaurant from an ill food handler, although no employee illnesses were reported from the restaurant during the month of July and this would be a large number of cases to be contracted from a single ill food handler. Cross contamination from another contaminated food source at the restaurant – such as beef, for example – is also a possibility. It is also possible that this restaurant received a small, highly contaminated batch of lettuce that did not go to any other facilities.

CDC is collaborating with public health officials in California, Washington, and Arizona; the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS); and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate a multistate outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 (STEC O157:H7) infections.  The STEC O157:H7 PFGE pattern in this outbreak is new to the PulseNet database. It has never been seen before.

A total of 26 individuals infected with the outbreak strain of STEC O157:H7 have been reported from three states. The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Arizona (1), California (22), and Washington (3).

Among persons for whom information is available, illness onset dates range from September 29, 2013 to October 26, 2013. Ill persons range in age from 4 years to 78 years, with a median age of 28 years. Sixty-one percent of ill persons are female. Among 21 persons with available information, 6 (28%) reported being hospitalized. Two ill persons have developed HUS, and no deaths have been reported.

Epidemiologic and traceback investigations conducted by officials in local, state, and federal public health, agriculture, and regulatory agencies indicate that two ready-to-eat salads, Field Fresh Chopped Salad with Grilled Chicken and Mexicali Salad with Chili Lime Chicken, produced by Glass Onion Catering and sold at Trader Joe’s grocery store locations, are one likely source of this outbreak of STEC O157:H7 infections.

CDC and state and local public health partners are continuing laboratory surveillance through PulseNet to identify additional ill persons and to interview ill persons about foods eaten before becoming ill. FSIS and FDA are continuing to work closely with CDC and state partners during this investigation. This investigation is ongoing and work is continuing to determine the source of contamination and identify any other potentially contaminated products still on the market. CDC will update the public when additional information is available.

On November 10, 2013, Glass Onion Catering, a Richmond, California firm, voluntarily recalled approximately 181,620 pounds of ready-to-eat salads and sandwich wrap products with fully cooked chicken and ham that may be contaminated with STEC O157:H7. The products were produced between September 23, 2013 and November 6, 2013 and shipped to distribution centers intended for retail sale in Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Washington.

The products subject to recall are regulated by both FSIS and FDA. Products regulated by FSIS bear the establishment number “P-34221” inside the USDA mark of inspection.  Read the full list of recalled products at both the FSIS and FDA websites.

CDC, FSIS, and FDA recommend that consumers do not eat these products and dispose of them immediately.

Tennessee health officials have given a raw-milk cow-share operation that has been linked to an E. coli O157:H7outbreak that has sickened 9 children — all of them under 7 years old — the green light to start offering its milk to its cow-share members again.

According to a Nov. 8 press release from the Knox County Health Department and the state’s eastern regional Health Department office, three of the infected children developed Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), a complication of a potentially fatal strain of E. coli that can lead to kidney failure and other serious health problems. However, due to patient-confidentiality laws, no information about the condition of the children can be made available.

The state’s press release also said that even though several raw milk samples, including the most recently collected samples have been negative for E. coli O157:H7, one raw-milk sample obtained from a consumer and several manure samples collected from the farm revealed the presence of DNA for the toxin produced by E. coli O157:H7 that causes HUS.

“We are pleased that the most recent raw milk sample tested negative but not surprised,” said Knox County Health Department Director Dr. Martha Buchanan.  “Typically in an investigation we’re collecting samples several days or weeks after the product that made people sick was produced.” For that reason, she said, while lab results are important, they are often negative and are only one part of an investigation.”

The Allegheny County Health Department today reported the results of its investigation of E. coli O157:H7 cases involving employees and customers of The Porch restaurant in Oakland.

“There were 12 confirmed cases of E. coli O157:H7 and nine others with suggestive symptoms who could not be confirmed.  We have been unable to pinpoint the source of the E. coli – whether it came from a particular food product, food handling or a combination of both,” said Health Director Dr. Karen Hacker.

Most of the persons who got sick ate hamburgers, and laboratory tests for E. coli O157:H7 detected the bacteria on some samples of ground beef patties.  However, it has not been determined whether the bacteria came into the facility on beef that the restaurant purchased or it spread via food handling.

And then there was the one and only inspection (10/31/13) that I could find online.

KIMA News reports: A young Selah boy is still in the hospital with a severe E. Coli infection. The six-year old has been in Seattle for almost two weeks.

Yakima County has seen an unusual increase in E-Coli cases so far this year. The total already matches the last two years combined. Action News spoke to the parents.

“How in the world did my son get E. coli?” said Josh Clyde.

Katie and Josh Clyde find themselves at Seattle Children’s Hospital day after day. Their 6-year-old son Brody has been there for almost two weeks with an E. coli infection and is currently in the ICU.

Josh Clyde told Action News, “I’m terrified for my child.”

Doctors told the family Brody has a rare strain of the bacteria that could kill him. Both of his kidneys have failed. The family said he might need a transplant in the future.

Katie Clyde told Action News, “you’re thinking you’re going to be here a week and then the next day you’re thinking okay I’m going to be here two weeks. And then after that, you realize you’re going to be here a month longer. That’s been really hard.”

The Clydes tell KIMA they think Brody came in contact with the E. coli from drinking water from the Naches River while the family was camping or from spinach.

One of Brody’s close friends has also been infected. He ate the same spinach with the Clyde family, but wasn’t near the river. The friend’s case isn’t as severe.

“Two little boys to worry about, not just one,” said Katie Clyde.

Action News talked to the Yakima Health District. Health officials downplay any wider public threat.
They said E. coli can also be transmitted through the air, and it’s possible that’s how the friend got sick.

For now, Josh and Katie wait by their son’s bedside.

“I can’t wait until we get to go home one day,” Katie Clyde told KIMA.

Health officials said the incidents are too limited to issue a warning. They will take action and start testing spinach if more cases can be connected to the specific product.

Fundraisers are being held to help the Clyde family with expenses.

Click here to help donate to Brody’s cause

United Processing LLC, a New York Mills, NY firm, is recalling approximately 12,600 pounds of boneless veal products because they may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, E. coli O145 and E. coli O45 the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The following products are subject to FSIS recall:

60-lb. boxes of boneless veal

The products subject to recall bear the establishment number “M- 27450” inside the USDA mark of inspection on a generic box label. The products were produced on June 17, 18, 24, 28 and 29, 2013 then distributed to wholesalers in New York and California for further processing.

FSIS became aware of the problem during inspection program personnel review. The firm sampled the product per their food safety program, and inadvertently shipped the product into commerce.

FSIS and the company have received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of these products.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to ensure that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at: www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.

Many clinical laboratories do not test for non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), such as STEC O26, O103, O45, O111, O121 or O145 because it is harder to identify. Infections with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli can result in dehydration, bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps 2-8 days (3-4 days, on average) after exposure to the organism. While most people recover within a week, some develop a type of kidney failure called Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS). This condition can occur among persons of any age but is most common in children under 5 and older adults. Symptoms of HUS may include fever, abdominal pain, pale skin tone, fatigue, small, unexplained bruises or bleeding from the nose and mouth, decreased urination, and swelling. Persons who experience these symptoms should seek emergency medical care immediately.

Charlie Bauder of WNEG News reports that area health officials are reporting that they have seen seven recently reported cases of E. coli in the Stephens County area.  District Two Public Health Spokesman Dave Palmer said that the cases have all appeared in the past couple of weeks.

“At this time, we know that it is the most common type of E. coli we see and it is not uncommon for us to see cases of E. Coli, but to see a large number like this, it is a little uncommon,” said Palmer.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, E. coli is a bacteria that is found in the environment, foods, and intestines of people and animals.  Palmer said people can come into contact with it in a number of ways.

Palmer said anyone with those symptoms in the Stephens County area should see their doctor.

Palmer said they are continuing to investigate these seven cases and find out more information about them.

E. coli:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of E. coli outbreaks and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The E. coli lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of E. coli and other foodborne illness infections and have recovered over $600 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our E. coli lawyers have litigated E. coli and HUS cases stemming from outbreaks traced to ground beef, raw milk, lettuce, spinach, sprouts, and other food products.  The law firm has brought E. coli lawsuits against such companies as Jack in the Box, Dole, ConAgra, Cargill, and Jimmy John’s.  We have proudly represented such victims as Brianne Kiner, Stephanie Smith and Linda Rivera.

If you or a family member became ill with an E. coli infection or HUS after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark E. coli attorneys for a free case evaluation.

Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. (asx:BNC), a research-based, technology-driven Canadian biopharmaceutical company, today announced that it has received a contribution of up to 500,000 from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) for the Company’s research and development of a second generation E. coli O157 cattle vaccine. IRAP’s support will offset salary costs and contractor fees associated with the project for the next three years.

“We are pleased to receive this funding from IRAP,” said Mr. Rick Culbert, President, Bioniche One Health. “We have been working with Dr. Brett Finlay at the University of British Columbia on the development of a second generation E. coli O157 cattle vaccine, which is expected to be safer to make, more readily produced with higher yields than the first generation vaccine, and may have the potential to cross-protect against other E. coli serotypes.”

While development of the second generation vaccine continues in coming years, the Company’s first generation E. coli O157 cattle vaccine – Econiche – is fully registered in Canada and is available through Canadian veterinarians. In Australia, although not yet registered, the vaccine is approved for importation. In the UK, the product has received Special Treatment Certificate authorization, allowing veterinary surgeons to use the vaccine on visitor open farms.

Human illnesses stemming from E. coli O157 have been linked to beef products (particularly ground beef), vegetables, fruit, juice, water, and contact with animals at petting zoos, farms, and fairs. Approximately two-thirds of all illnesses are associated with contaminated produce and water or direct contact, while one-third are associated with contaminated beef. When humans are infected with E. coli O157, symptoms begin within 3-10 days. These can range from diarrhea and fever to severe bloody diarrhea to Haemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS) and death. Long-term studies following patients infected with E. coli O157 have documented secondary illnesses due to hypertension, cardiovascular and kidney disease as well as arthritis.

Approximately 100,000 cases of human infection with E. coli O157 are reported each year in North America. More than 20,000 of these cases are seen in Canada, where the cost of primary and long-term illnesses has been estimated at 240 million per year.

“There is compelling evidence to show that immunization of cattle against E. coli O157 will reduce the shedding of this deadly pathogen, and several modeling studies have been done to demonstrate that human illness would be reduced as a result of this reduction in shedding,” added Mr. Culbert. “Since E. coli O157 does not make cattle ill, the rationale for cattle vaccination is to reduce the amount of E. coli O157 being shed into food, water, and the environment and, in turn, to reduce exposure by people.”

The Company will also explore the ability of the second generation vaccine to cross-protect against other E. coli serotypes. Although E. coli O157 is the most common serotype causing human infection in North America, other serotypes, including O26, O111, O103, O121, O45 and O145, have been identified in other jurisdictions.

Both Econiche and the second generation E. coli O157 vaccine will be produced in the Company’s Animal Health and Food Safety Vaccine Manufacturing Centre in Belleville, which is currently undergoing validation to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards for global production. GMP validation is now expected to be completed by summer, 2013.

The State Milk Board, in conjunction with the Missouri Department of Agriculture and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, announced today that Homestead Creamery of Jamesport, Mo. is voluntarily withdrawing a batch of its Flory’s Favorite cheese from the marketplace.

Preliminary test results received from the Missouri State Health Laboratory indicate the cheese may be contaminated with Shiga-Toxin producing E.coli, which can lead to food borne illness. Confirmatory tests are ongoing.

The Homestead Creamery plant license to sell milk products in Missouri has been temporarily suspended, pending the results of the investigation by the State Milk Board and Missouri departments of Agriculture and Health and Senior Services.

The withdrawn product, Flory’s Favorite, is a 60-day aged cheese made with raw milk. Packages of the cheese are marked with “Packed On 210” on the label. This affects approximately 250 pounds of cheese and does not affect any other dairy products from Homestead Creamery.

The withdrawn cheese was sold at Homestead Creamery facility in Jamesport, Mo. and may have been sold by the following retailers:

HyVee in Liberty, Mo.

HyVee in Trenton, Mo.

Benedict Builders’ Farm in Knob Noster, Mo.

Milton Creamery in Milton, Iowa.

The Missouri State Milk Board continues to review the company’s records to determine when consumers may have purchased the product. Anyone who has purchased the cheese may return the unused portion to the store from which they purchased the product.