Campylobacter Attorney

CDC, several states, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) are investigating a multistate outbreak of multidrug-resistant Campylobacter infections.

Campylobacter bacteria isolated from clinical samples from people sickened in this outbreak are resistant to commonly recommended, first-line antibiotics. This means it may be difficult to treat these infections with the antibiotics usually prescribed for Campylobacter infections.

Since the last update on October 30, 2017, 30 more ill people have been reported from 11 states. The most recent illness began on October 23, 2017.

As of December 12, 2017, 97 people with laboratory-confirmed infections or symptoms consistent with Campylobacter infection have been linked to this outbreak. Illnesses have been reported from 17 states.

Twenty-two (24%) of 91 ill people with available information have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
Illnesses started on dates ranging from June 17, 2016 to October 23, 2017.

Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates that contact with puppies sold through Petland stores is a likely source of this outbreak.

According to Poultry World, levels of campylobacter in chicken sold by the UK’s major retailers continue to fall, according to statistics released by the Food Standards Agency on Wednesday 18 October.

Just 5.9% of chickens had high levels of campylobacter in the survey – which sampled 1,437 birds between April and July – down from 20.1% for the same period in 2014.

The FSA announced last month that it was changing its annual campylobacter retail survey with the top 9 retailers publishing their own results. Instead, the Agency would concentrate on smaller retailers, independent traders and markets stalls where levels of campylobacter have been stubbornly high.

Full results from the third annual retail survey, running from August 2016 to July 2017, showed:

  • The figure for high-level campylobacter prevalence (more than 1,000 cfu/g) among the top nine retailers (based on market share) was 5.6%
  • The ‘Others’ group, consisting of smaller retailers and butchers, had a significantly higher prevalence at 17.1%
  • The retailers with significantly lower prevalence than the average among all retailers were Morrisons (2.9%), Tesco (4.2%) and Waitrose (2.7%)
  • There was a significant fall in the percentage of chickens positive for campylobacter at any level – down from 73.2% in 2014/5 to 54% in 2016/7.

According to the CDC, at least 39 people across seven states have confirmed or suspected cases of Campylobacter bacteria, which can cause diarrhea, abdominal pain and fever. While the investigation is ongoing, federal officials have linked it to contact with puppies sold by Petland, a chain of pet stores based in Ohio.

Twelve of the confirmed cases are in Petland employees, and 27 other people who fell ill either visited a Petland, recently purchased a puppy there, or visited or live in a home with a Petland puppy. According to the CDC’s announcement, nine people have been hospitalized and there are no reported deaths.

The State Department of Agriculture and Markets announced Monday that milk from Martin Yoder Farm, 2594 Murdock Rd., was contaminated by Campylobacter jejuni, a bacteria that is a common cause of food poisoning, in samples conducted last week.

Ag & Markets Commissioner Richard A. Ball warned consumers in Orleans County and the surrounding area not to consume unpasteurized raw milk from the farm, but noted that no illnesses have been associated with the product.

“The Department recommends that any consumers who purchased raw milk from the Martin Yoder Farm immediately dispose of it,” the department said in a statement.

According to Ag & Markets, symptoms from Campylobacter jejuni exposure typically develop within two to five days after exposure and include abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever and malaise. These symptoms generally last about seven days but Campylobacter jejuni has been linked to incidents of Guillain-Barre syndrome, which may occur weeks after exposure.

Inspectors discovered the bacteria in a preliminary test completed on Sept. 13, and the farm immediately voluntarily suspended sales of the product. Further laboratory testing, completed on Friday, confirmed the presence of Campylobacter jejuni in the raw milk sample.

The farm, founded by the late Martin Yoder, is part of an Amish community that came to northwestern Orleans County from families in Ohio. Yoder’s farm, as of 2013, had 45-head of grazing cows on a fully-organic operation.

Consumers were able to purchase raw milk directly from the farm, but those sales have been prohibited until additional sampling is completed that confirms the product is bacteria-free.

Unpasteurized raw milk is supported by some consumers as a healthier and less industrial product, but skipping the heating process does not eliminate the possibility for bacteria. Consumers who may have purchased this product and have questions may call the Department at (518) 457-1772.

campylobacter-e1367919882392The campylobacter bacteria, often found in raw poultry, fresh produce and unpasteurized milk, was the leading cause of food-related infection in 2016, according to new national estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Campylobacter is one of four primary causes of diarrheal diseases, which affect more than 500 million people worldwide every year, notes the World Health Organization (WHO). Upon infection, it produces abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, headache and nausea, with symptoms that can last between three to six days.

The bacteria is found naturally in the intestines of chickens, cattle and other animals, and poor cooking hygiene of food derived from these animals can lead to infection, says the WHO.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) is issuing a health alert for unpasteurized raw milk and raw milk products from Sweet Grass Dairy’s herd share, due to contamination with Campylobacter. Sweet Grass Dairy is located in Knox County at 6049 Bryant Rd., Fredericktown, OH 43019.

This alert is the result of an investigation by ODA and the Ohio Department of Health after foodborne illnesses were reported in Franklin County. Later testing confirmed a connection between the illnesses and raw milk from Sweet Grass Dairy.

People can prevent infection by only consuming pasteurized milk and milk products. Pasteurization is the process in which milk is heated briefly to kill any pathogenic bacteria that might be present. Raw milk has not been pasteurized to kill pathogenic bacteria that can cause illness and is not available for sale in Ohio retail stores.

The Pueblo City-County Health Department, El Paso County Public Health and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment are jointly investigating an ongoing outbreak of Campylobacter infections linked to raw milk from Larga Vista Ranch in Pueblo County. The agencies are warning consumers that drinking unpasteurized milk can pose severe health risks and there is no method to assure the safety of raw milk.

Health officials have identified 12 confirmed and eight probable human cases of campylobacter since Aug. 1. The most recent onset of illness was September 16. All the individuals who were sickened reported drinking raw milk from Larga Vista Ranch. All 20 confirmed and probable campylobacter cases live in Pueblo and El Paso counties.

Campylobacter is a bacteria that is destroyed only by pasteurization. Symptoms of campylobacter infection include fever, diarrhea (sometimes bloody), abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting. People experiencing these symptoms should consult with their health care provider.

The state health department notified approximately 175 people who are participants in the Larga Vista cow share operation on Sept. 8 and will do so again today. Cow-share operations allow individuals to buy a share of a cow and in return receive raw, unpasteurized milk.

People are advised not to consume raw milk and raw milk products from Larga Vista and to discard any such products in their homes. The risk of getting sick from drinking raw milk is greater for infants and young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Some of those sickened in this outbreak were not shareholders, but obtained raw milk from others who were. Shareholders are not permitted to redistribute the raw milk they receive.

The sale of raw milk for human consumption is illegal in Colorado. However, people may legally obtain raw milk by joining a herdshare (ownership of a cow, goat, or herd) program. Shareholders cannot distribute raw milk further.

For more information visit www.elpasocountyhealth.org, or Pueblo County residents may call 719-583-4307.

Solano Health Department reports that a Mexican restaurant in Fairfield, California has been closed since Wednesday while an investigation continues into 32 confirmed cases of Campylobacter infection. Alejandro’s Taqueria on Texas Street in downtown Fairfield is to remain shut down until revised operations meet with approval from county health officials.

According to Deputy Health Officer Dr. Michael Stacey, Solano County has received an unusually high number of reports of abdominal illness this month.

“There have been increased reports of laboratory-confirmed campylobacteriosis since the beginning of June,” he stated. “So far, 32 campylobacter cases have been reported to us this month, almost double the number of reported cases that we had for the whole month of June in 2015.” A number of those people said they had eaten at Alejandro’s from May 26-29, according to health department reports, making the timeline for potential illness a few days before and after that period.

County health officials are not certain what food item might have caused the illnesses. They are still checking samples of cooked foods taken from the restaurant on June 8 and also continuing to investigate the reports of those sickened.

According to a health alert sent out June 6 by the Solano County Public Health Department, the most common sources of Campylobacter are the infected feces of animals or people, unpasteurized milk, and contaminated poultry, meat, water or other food products.

Infection with Campylobacter bacteria typically causes diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain, and fever within two to five days after exposure to the organism. The diarrhea may be bloody and can be accompanied by nausea and vomiting. The illness typically lasts about one week.

Some infected people do not have any symptoms but can transmit the illness to others. In those with compromised immune systems, Campylobacter occasionally spreads to the bloodstream and causes a serious life-threatening infection.

Campulobacter_406x250About 30 people were recently sickened by Campylobacter at Blair Academy, reports the New Jersey Herald. The school is a private boarding and day school for high school students located in Blairstown, NJ.

“In mid-November, our health center saw an increased incidence of gastrointestinal-related illness and we alerted all parents by email on November 20 prior to students leaving campus for Thanksgiving break,” Suzy Logan, a spokesperson for the school, told the newspaper in an emailed statement. “Late that weekend, we found out that several of those who experienced symptoms tested positive for Campylobacter. Upon receiving confirmation of several positive results, our director of health services informed the parents of those affected by phone and updated our entire parent body by email the next day.”

Logan said all affected students have recovered. The source of the illnesses has not yet been identified.

Raw milk produced by Organic Pastures Dairy of Fresno County with a code date of OCT 24 is the subject of a statewide recall and quarantine order announced by California State Veterinarian Dr. Annette Jones.  The quarantine order followed the confirmed detection of campylobacter bacteria in raw whole milk.  No illnesses have been reported at this time.

Under the recall, Organic Pastures Dairy brand Grade-A raw milk labeled with a code date of OCT 24 is to be pulled immediately from retail shelves, and consumers are strongly urged to dispose of any product remaining in their refrigerators.

CDFA inspectors found the bacteria as a result of product testing conducted as part of routine inspection and sample collection at the facility.

According to the California Department of Public Health, symptoms of campylobacteriosis include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever. Most people with campylobacteriosis recover completely.  Illness usually occurs 2 to 5 days after exposure to campylobacter and lasts about a week.  The illness is usually mild and some people with campylobacteriosis have no symptoms at all.  However, in some persons with compromised immune systems, it can cause a serious, life-threatening infection.  A small percentage of people may have joint pain and swelling after infection.  In addition, a rare disease called Guillain-Barre syndrome that causes weakness and paralysis can occur several weeks after the initial illness.