Press Releases

 

Entries in Public Health (83)

Sunday
Nov232014

NH DHHS - Four New Hampshire SalmonellaCases Identified

Part of Multistate Outbreak Linked to Bean Sprouts

Concord, NH – Four people in New Hampshire, so far, have been identified by

the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Division of

Public Health Services (DPHS) as being linked to a multistate outbreak

involving bean sprouts consumption in restaurants. As of November 21, 2014,

a total of 63 people have been infected with Salmonella Enteriditis in 10

states. Traceback from all of the establishments indicated that all

received bean sprouts from Wonton Foods, Inc. of Brooklyn, New York.



The firm is cooperating with public health and agriculture officials and

has reported that their last shipment of bean sprouts was on November 18,

2014. As of November 21, 2014, the firm has verbally agreed to voluntarily

stop the production and sale of their bean sprouts while they take steps to

prevent Salmonella contamination. The other states reporting cases include

Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania,

Rhode Island, and Vermont. Illness onset dates range from September 30th to

November 8th. So far 11 people have been hospitalized, none in New

Hampshire, and no deaths have been reported.



The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local

public health partners are continuing laboratory surveillance to identify

additional ill persons and to interview them about foods they ate before

they became ill. This ongoing investigation is rapidly evolving, and CDC

and DPHS will update the public when additional information is available.



“The Division of Public Health Services will continue to investigate to

identify any other potential cases and has notified the New Hampshire

Grocers Association and the New Hampshire Restaurant and Lodging

Association so that the product is removed from consumption” said Dr. José

Montero, Director of Public Health at DPHS. “Sprouts are a known source of

foodborne illness, so if you are not sure of the origin of any sprouts, it

is best to throw them out rather than risk consuming a contaminated

product.”





The CDC is recommending that restaurants and other retailers do not sell or

serve sprouts produced by Wonton Foods, Inc. at this time. Consumers are

encouraged to cook any sprouts and children, older adults, pregnant women,

and persons with weakened immune systems should always avoid eating raw

sprouts of any kind due to their increased risk of illness from Salmonella.





Salmonella causes diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps usually 12 to 72

hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most

people recover without treatment. However, in some cases, the diarrhea may

be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. In these patients,

the Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood

stream, and then to other body sites and can cause death unless the patient

is treated promptly with antibiotics.





The DHHS Division of Public Health Services continues to follow this

outbreak closely, including investigation of any reported cases in close

coordination with the CDC and the FDA, and will provide updates as they

become available. For further information visit the CDC website at

http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/enteritidis-11-14/index.html, or to report a

suspected case contact the DPHS Bureau of Infectious Disease Control at

603-271-4496.

Saturday
Nov152014

NH DHHS - Health Department Holds Public Meeting on Travelers Returning from Ebola-Stricken Countries

Concord, NH – The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has led to Americans

traveling to the affected countries to lend their assistance and expertise

to the victims of this devastating disease. New Hampshire is no exception,

with healthcare workers from the Kearsarge region traveling to Africa to

help out. In order to give the community a chance to ask questions about

the disease and the potential impacts of returning travelers, the New

Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) will be speaking

at a public meeting hosted by the Kearsarge Regional School System at

Kearsarge Regional High School.



Speakers for this event include:

DHHS Public Health Director Dr. José Montero

State Epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan

Kearsarge Regional Superintendent Jerry Frew





DATE: Monday, November 17, 2014

6:00 pm



EVENT: Ebola Informational Session





LOCATION: Kearsarge Regional High School

457 North Road

North Sutton, NH 03260

Wednesday
Nov052014

NH DHHS - Recall of Frozen Chicken Product

Concord, NH – The US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection

Service (FSIS) has announced that the Aspen Foods Division of Koch Meats

(Chicago, IL) is recalling 28,980 pounds of chicken products as they may be

contaminated with Salmonella Enteritidis. These products were distributed

to Shaw’s stores in New Hampshire. The recalled product includes partially

prepared Chicken a la Kiev products sold by retailers under the Antioch

Farms brand name, with “sell by” dates of October 1, 2015 and October 7,

2015. A total of 6 persons were identified in Minnesota with the same

strain of Salmonella, and all reported Chicken Kiev consumption prior to

illness onset. This product has been removed from all Shaw’s stores in New

Hampshire and no cases of Salmonella linked to this outbreak have been

identified in New Hampshire.



The implicated products were produced on July 2, 2014 and July 8, 2014, and

bear the establishment number “P-1358 inside the USDA mark of inspection.”

The product is identified as:

· Single 5-ounce plastic packets of Raw Stuffed Chicken Breast Breaded,

Boneless Breast of Chicken with Rib Meat “A La Kiev.”



The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Division

of Public Health Services is conducting surveillance to identify possible

cases associated with this product and following the national investigation

closely should the list of involved products expand.



“Even though the product has been removed from stores, it is important that

all consumers check their freezers for this product,” said Dr. José

Montero, Director of Public Health at DHHS. “Most people recover from

salmonellosis, but it has serious implications for young children, seniors,

and the immune compromised.”



Salmonella is a bacterium that can cause serious and sometimes fatal

infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and those with

weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often

experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting, and

abdominal pain. Some cases may be more severe and people may even need to

be hospitalized. In these patients, the Salmonella infection may spread

from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other parts of the

body and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with

antibiotics.



If consumers have any of these products at home they are advised to discard

them immediately and not eat them. DHHS reminds consumers of the importance

of properly handling raw poultry to prevent contamination from spreading to

other foods and food contact surfaces. Additionally, following package

cooking instructions for frozen or fresh chicken products is critical.

Consumers should be aware that actual time may vary depending on the

cooking method (broiling, frying, or grilling) and the temperature of the

product (chilled versus frozen), so it is important that the final

temperature of 165 °F must be reached for safety.



This may be an evolving situation so consumers are advised to check the

USDA website at

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/recalls-and-public-health-alerts/recall-case-archive/archive/2014/recall-073-2014-release

for updates. For questions about salmonellosis, call the DHHS Division of

Public Health Services, Bureau of Infectious Disease Control at (603)

271-4496.

Monday
Nov032014

NH DHHS Collaborates to Bring National Diabetes Prevention Program to NH

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

(DHHS), Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) is partnering with health

care and community partners throughout the State to bring the National

Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) to New Hampshire. In honor of National

Diabetes Month, an updated DHHS website will feature prediabetes

information. DHHS will also utilize Facebook and Twitter to spread

messaging about prediabetes to the public.



“One in three American adults has prediabetes, so the need for prevention

has never been greater,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health

at DHHS. “The National Diabetes Prevention Program offers a proven approach

to preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes through modest

lifestyle changes made with the support of a coach and one’s peers.”



Prediabetes is defined as having a blood glucose (sugar) level that is

higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. People

are more likely to have prediabetes and type 2 diabetes if they are:

· 45 years of age or older

· Overweight

· Have a family history of type 2 diabetes

· Physically active fewer than three times per week

· Have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes during a pregnancy or

gave birth to a baby weighing more than nine pounds.



CDC estimates that 37% of adults have prediabetes. However, only 11% of

people with prediabetes know they have the condition. Without intervention,

15 to 30% of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within

five years.



NDPP uses an evidence-based curriculum approved by the Centers for Disease

Control and Prevention (CDC). As part of a group, participants work with a

trained lifestyle coach for 16 weeks and learn to:

· Eat healthy

· Increase their level of physical activity

· Manage stress

· Stay motivated, and

· Solve problems that can get in the way of healthy changes.



Nationwide implementation of NDPP could save the U.S. health care system

$5.7 billion and prevent about 885,000 future cases of type 2 diabetes, a

serious condition that can lead to: heart attack; stroke; blindness; kidney

failure; or loss of toes, feet, or legs.



NDPP can be found at hospitals and YMCAs around the state. For more

information or to locate a program near you visit:

http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/prevention/index.htm or

http://www.ymca.net/diabetes-prevention/.

For information about prediabetes and the Diabetes Education Program at

DHHS visit http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/DPHS/cdpc/prediabetes.htm.

Saturday
Oct252014

NH DHHS - Deputy State Epidemiologist Contributes to the Global Ebola Control Effort 

CONCORD, N.H. – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

announced today that Dr. Elizabeth Talbot, Deputy State Epidemiologist,

will be going to Liberia at the end of next week.





Dr. Talbot, who is also a physician with the Geisel School of Medicine at

Dartmouth, will be in Liberia for four weeks and will play a leading role

in training clinical teams of physicians, nurses and other staff to conduct

Ebola control activities. She will work with International Medical Corps, a

non-governmental organization. Just as in New Hampshire, her primary goal

is to protect those on the frontline of the Ebola epidemic. Upon her return

to New Hampshire, her colleagues at the Division of Public Health Services

will conduct her post-arrival monitoring.





“We are very proud of Dr. Talbot,” said Dr. José T. Montero, Director of

the Division of Public Health Services. “She exemplifies the dedication of

the many public health and medical professionals and organizations working

to end this serious medical crisis in West Africa. She will take with her

our best wishes and we will await her return.”





“I am very proud of the preparedness work we are doing in New Hampshire,”

said Dr. Talbot. “The timing is right and I am grateful for this

opportunity to contribute to the effort.”