Wednesday, 15 August 2007

FMD and E Coli 0157

Fears of two new foot and mouth cases outside of the initial 3Km safety zone have been elevated today as both areas tested negative. Another 3 kilometer protection zone was set up around a farm in Romney Marsh, Kent when the farm owner called in vets and Defra fearing one of his 300 dairy cows showed suspected signs of FMD about the same time vets were called in to Chessington World of Adventures theme park. In a statement, the park said it had called in vets and alerted Defra following concerns over one of its sheep. A spokeswoman at the park said: “As a precautionary measure and because of the high state of alert currently in place due to the recent cases of foot-and-mouth disease, it was decided to immediately check all our cloven hoof stock for any signs of disease.” Although initial tests have came back negative the temporary control zones will remain as a cautionary measure until further tests confirm that FMD is not present.

Defra chief veterinary officer Debby Reynolds said: “I want to emphasise that these are preliminary results and we are still waiting for further test results.” 48763.aspx She also said that the overall conclusion of the epidemiological study is that there is now a very low risk of FMD spreading outside of Surrey. In light of the low perceived risk of the disease spreading, Reynolds announced that the vaccination teams will stand down, although she gave her assurance that they could be up and running again within five days. There will also be two substantial alterations to the movement restrictions. The general licence will permit movement of livestock within a holding over a distance of 3km when there is a welfare need, and a specific licence for the pig sector will allow movement for acute or anticipated welfare problems with pigs. Reynolds also said the country is in the "middle of a crucial week " and could not give an accurate timescale on when she could say that the outbreak was over. Investigations into the source of the outbreak continue, with no solid evidence of how it originated. “Overall investigations are still a work in progress,” said Reynolds.

Meanwhile in Paisley, Glasgow a 66 year old woman has died because of E.coli 0157, her 71 year old husband is still seriously ill in hospital suffering from the same strain of E.coli 0157. an 86 year old woman and her family of three are recovering at home. The outbreak, in Paisley, Scotland, was initially linked to meat from the deli counters of two Morrisons supermarkets, in Lonend and Falside Road, and investigators are now looking at the retailer's suppliers. The new E. coli case reported in Northern Ireland has been linked to linked to the stores in Lonend and Falside Road. In the defense of Morrisons stores as soon as the outbreak had been confirmed and linked to these two stores they did withdraw their cold meats from their deli section.

At the moment I really do not have a bad word to say about Morrisons super markets (other than the Morrisons were I live is bloody expensive, Asda is a whole load cheaper). The cold meats that Morrisons sell would have came from one or more of their 12 suppliers, I am trying to get the names of these suppliers but so far am drawing a blank. Now the reason I have mentioned Morrisons E coli problems is because I find it kind of strange that within a few month we have seen Foot and mouth infecting our cattle, E coli and Bird flu on its way through Europe, I am becoming more and more convinced that there is more to this than meets the eye.

Oh incase you are wondering this is what E Coli 0157 is: tju18836 E. coli O157:H7 is one of hundreds of strains of the bacterium Escherichia coli. Although most strains are harmless, this strain produces a powerful toxin that can cause severe illness. E. coli O157:H7 has been found in the intestines of healthy cattle, deer, goats, and sheep. E. coli O157:H7 was first recognized as a cause of illness in 1982 during an outbreak of severe bloody diarrhea; the outbreak was traced to contaminated hamburgers. Since then, more infections in the United States have been caused by eating undercooked ground beef than by any other food. The combination of letters and numbers in the name of the bacterium refers to the specific markers found on its surface and distinguishes it from other types of E. coli The organism can be found on most cattle farms, and it is commonly found in petting zoos and can live in the intestines of healthy cattle, deer, goats, and sheep. Meat can become contaminated during slaughter, and organisms can be accidentally mixed into meat when it is ground. Bacteria present on the cow's udders or on equipment may get into raw milk. In a petting zoo, E.coli O157:H7 can contaminate the ground, railings, feed bins, and fur of the animals. Eating meat, especially ground beef, that has not been cooked sufficiently to kill E. coli O157:H7 can cause infection. Contaminated meat looks and smells normal. The number of organisms required to cause disease is very small.

Among other known sources of infection are consumption of sprouts, lettuce, spinach, salami, unpasteurized milk and juice, and by swimming in or drinking sewage-contaminated water. Bacteria in loose stool of infected persons can be passed from one person to another if hygiene or hand washing habits are inadequate. This is particularly likely among toddlers who are not toilet trained. Family members and playmates of these children are at high risk of becoming infected. Young children typically shed the organism in their feces for a week or two after their illness resolves. Older children and adults rarely carry the organism without symptoms. For more information on E-Coli O157:H7 click "Here".

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