Category Archives: Contaminated water

Research – EU – Cryptosporidiosis – Annual Epidemiological Report for 2017

ECDC crypto

Executive summary

Key facts

  • For 2017, 21 EU/EEA countries reported 11 449 cryptosporidiosis cases, of which 11 418 were confirmed.
  • The notification rate was 3.2 confirmed cases per 100 000 population.
  • Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom (UK) accounted for 71% of all confirmed cases, with the United Kingdom alone accounting for 44%.
  • Most of the cases were reported in September 2017, following the seasonal pattern of previous years.
  • Children aged 0–4 years had the highest notification rate of 12.5 cases per 100 000 population.



Research – Hepatitis E virus genotype 3 strains and a plethora of other viruses detected in raw and still in tap water

Science Direct

In this study, next generation sequencing was used to explore the virome in 20L up to 10,000L water from different purification steps at two Swedish drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs), and in tap water. One DWTP used ultrafiltration (UF) with 20 nm pores, the other UV light treatment after conventional treatment of the water. Viruses belonging to 26 different families were detected in raw water, in which 6–9 times more sequence reads were found for phages than for known environmental, plant or vertebrate viruses. The total number of viral reads was reduced more than 4-log10 after UF and 3-log10 over UV treatment. However, for some viruses the reduction was 3.5-log10 after UF, as for hepatitis E virus (HEV), which was also detected in tap water, with sequences similar to those in raw water and after treatment. This indicates that HEV had passed through the treatment and entered into the supply network. However, the viability of the viruses is unknown. In tap water 10–130 International Units of HEV RNA/mL were identified, which is a comparable low amount of virus. The risk of getting infected through consumption of tap water is probably negligible, but needs to be investigated. The HEV strains in the waters belonged to subtypes HEV3a and HEV3c/i, which is associated with unknown source of infection in humans infected in Sweden. None of these subtypes are common among pigs or wild boar, the major reservoirs for HEV, indicating that water may play a role in transmitting this virus. The results indicate that monitoring small fecal/oral transmitted viruses in DWTPs may be considered, especially during community outbreaks, to prevent potential transmission by tap water.

USA – Legionnaire’s disease: More than 100 cases reported in North Carolina outbreak

Outbreak News Today 

The number of Legionnaires’ disease cases linked to the NC Mountain State Fair continues to grow at a quick pace.

According to North Carolina health officials, as of Tuesday, 116 total Legionella infections have been reported, including 109 cases of Legionnaires’ disease and seven cases of the less serious Pontiac fever.

One death has been reported.

Seventy-five of the cases were reported from two counties–Buncombe and Henderson.

Information – Washing poultry not worth the risk

Sabatha Herald Campylobacter kswfoodworld

The practice of washing or rinsing raw poultry can actually put you and others at a higher risk of foodborne illness. Quite simply, there’s no need to do this.

Participants in an observational study were observed in handling and preparation to see how bacteria moves from raw foods to other foods or surfaces. They were divided into a control group and a treatment group. Food safety messages were sent via email prior to observation sessions to learn how to effective those messages were in preparing chicken.

Some reasons consumers feel rinsing raw poultry is necessary is to remove blood/slime, because a family member said to do so, or it washes off the germs or bacteria. Most do this under the faucet with water running without any other container. Because of this, water splashes onto other items or food causing cross contamination. Then, many improperly washed their hands by not using water or soap, or did not rub their hands with soap at least 20 seconds. They also were ineffective at cleaning and sanitizing equipment and countertops.

Bottom line. There is no need to wash poultry or meat prior to cooking. Cooking to safe temperatures is the best and safest defense against foodborne illness. All poultry should reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit; ground meat should reach 160 degrees; and roasts, steak and chops should reach 145 degrees.

USA – North Carolina Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak rises to 79 cases, 1 death

Outbreak News Today Legionella_Plate_01

North Carolina state health officials were first notified about an increase in the number of Legionnaire’s disease cases in Buncombe and Henderson counties about one week ago.

To date, health officials have reported 83 Legionella cases (79 Legionnaires’ disease and 4 Pontiac fever), including one fatality.

The most cases have been reported from Buncombe (34) and Henderson (21) counties, with 11 other counties affected plus 5 South Carolina cases.

Legionnaires’ disease gained national notoriety in 1976 when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) discovered it during an epidemic of pneumonia among American legion members at a convention in Philadelphia.

USA – 32 Sick and 1 Dead in Legionnaires Outbreak Linked to Mountain State Fair

Outbreak News Today

CDC legionella

Image CDC

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has announced an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease potentially linked to the Mountain State Fair in North Carolina. As of today, there are 32 confirmed illnesses and one person has died. According to the health agents, “The source of the outbreak is under investigation. Many of the cases reported attending the NC Mountain State Fair, held September 6-15, 2019 in Fletcher, NC.” The investigation in ongoing.

As Legionnaires’ disease is typically transmitted through contaminated water sources, the health agencies are investigating any rides that may have water. “Features, exhibits, and rides that incorporated some type of water exposure that created droplets which came in contact with visitors will be our focus,” Steven Smith, Henderson County’s Director of Health.

USA – Legionnaires’ Disease cases in people who attended NC Mountain State Fair

Outbreak News

CDC legionella

Image CDC

North Carolina state and local health officials report investigating multiple cases of Legionnaires’ disease reported in individuals who attended the NC Mountain State Fair in Fletcher, NC, Sept. 6–15, 2019.

“We don’t yet know whether people might have been exposed to Legionella bacteria at the NC Mountain State Fair,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Zack Moore. “As a precaution, we are recommending that anyone who went to the fair and has symptoms of pneumonia, like cough, fever or shortness of breath, see a doctor right away and talk with them about Legionnaires’ disease.”

Legionnaires’ disease is a form of bacterial pneumonia (lung infection). A person may develop Legionnaires’ disease when they breathe in mist or accidentally swallow water into the lungs that contains Legionella bacteria.

In North Carolina, more than 150 cases of Legionnaires’ disease are reported each year. Symptoms typically begin two to 10 days after exposure and can include cough, shortness of breath, fever, muscle aches and headaches. Legionnaires’ disease is a serious illness but can be treated effectively with antibiotics. Legionella bacteria can also cause a milder flu-like illness called Pontiac fever, which resolves without treatment.

Most healthy people exposed to Legionella bacteria do not get sick. The people at highest risk for Legionnaires’ disease include individuals 50 years or older, current or former smokers, and those who have a chronic lung disease or a weakened immune system.