Category Archives: Water Safety

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.

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.

Research -Toxin responsible for Legionella growth identified

Science Daily

Legionella A

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Pneumonia resulting from exposure to Legionella — although uncommon and affecting only 1 in 100,000 in Europe — has a higher than 10% fatality rate. The pathogenic bacterium Legionella pneumophila has more than 300 toxins that it uses to infect humans. Once the aerosols containing the bacteria are inhaled, Legionella enters the lungs where it starts infecting human cells, causing pneumonia.

Legionella toxins especially target the innate immune pathways facilitating the survival of the bacteria inside human cells and allowing the replication of the bacteria. Due to the large number of toxins it is difficult to see the effects of deleting one or multiple of these toxins on the Legionella infection capacities. This is further complicated by the fact that several toxins with similar functions exist inside the bacteria. This makes Legionella hard to target with specific drugs.

USA – E. coli hits South Dakota – Sisseton Area

Food Poison Journal

According to KSFY, the South Dakota Department of Health is investigating several cases of E. coli in northeastern South Dakota. The cases are in and around the Sisseton area.

Source not identified

USA – Sheraton Atlanta Legionnaires’ disease: 11 confirmed, 55 probable outbreak cases

Outbreak News Today

CDC legionella

Image CDC

In a follow-up on the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak linked to the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel, the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) reports 11 lab-confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease and 55 probable cases of Legionnaires’ disease related to this outbreak through July 29.

No deaths have been reported.

Probable cases are people who had illness consistent with Legionnaires’ disease, including pneumonia diagnosed by a clinician or chest X-ray, but without laboratory confirmation. The number of probable cases can change based on additional testing and lab results.

Since the first cases of Legionnaires’ disease were confirmed two weeks ago, epidemiologists from DPH and Fulton County Board of Health (FCBOH)  have been reviewing hundreds of survey responses from individuals who stayed at or visited the Sheraton Atlanta between June 12 and July 15, 2019. The surveys help identify people who may have been ill, especially those with severe illness like pneumonia.