Last month, Hurricane Harvey dropped an unprecedented 50 inches of rain in Houston and across southeast Texas causing deadly floods and environmental disasters, such as chemical plant explosions and flooded toxic sites. Now, residents have another problem to worry about. According to tests organized by the New York Times and conducted by a team from Baylor Medical College and Rice University, the floodwaters in two Houston neighborhoods have been contaminated with toxins and bacteria that can make people sick. It's unclear where else these toxins might have spread, but 40 of 1,219 waste treatment plants are not functioning: The results of The Times's testing were troubling. Water flowing down Briarhills Parkway in the Houston Energy Corridor contained Escherichia coli, a measure of fecal contamination, at a level more than four times that considered safe.
At least 11 people across eight states have been sickened so far, the CDC said. At least 11 people in eight states have been affected by a salmonella outbreak that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says is likely linked to pet hedgehogs. The CDC announced Friday that "epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicate that contact with pet hedgehogs is the likely source of this outbreak," and noted that 10 out of the 11 people who have been sickened with Salmonella Typhimurium told the federal health agency that they had contact with a hedgehog before becoming ill. At least one person has been hospitalized in relation to the outbreak but no deaths have been reported at this time. As of Jan. 23, the states that have been affected by the outbreak include Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Texas and Wyoming.
A multistate outbreak of salmonella infections linked to a shake product has risen to 27, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported Thursday. The product, Garden of Life RAW Meal Organic Shake & Meal, was recalled on Jan. 29 and Feb. 12 after officials identified them as the source of the outbreak. The latest CDC report increased the number of reported ill people by nine individuals reported from eight states. The most recent case of an illness started on March 13. The states affected are: Alabama, California, Florida, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and West Virginia.
A multi-state outbreak of human Campylobacter infections that has sickened at least 39 has been linked to puppies sold through Petland, a national pet store chain. The outbreak has affected 12 Petland employees across four states, and 27 others who had either purchased a puppy from the store, visited puppies at the store or live in a home with a Petland-purchased puppy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC launched an investigation in conjunction with several states' health departments and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service after the first case was reported in Sept. 2016. According to a news release posted on the CDC's website, the confirmed cases were discovered in Florida, Kansas, Ohio, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Wisconsin, with the most recent reported on Sept. 1, 2017. Campylobacter can spread through contact with a dog's feces, but does not usually spread from person to person.
Q&A with Dr. Manny: Since coming back from vacation, I've had diarrhea and cramps. How do I know I have salmonella versus some other gastrointestinal condition? Heads up, consumers: Dole Fresh Vegetables, Inc. announced a voluntary recall of some of its baby spinach over possible salmonella contamination. The company, which announced the recall Friday, said a "limited number of cases of baby spinach" are affected by the recall. The impacted products were distributed to stores in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin.