Published Date: 2005-01-21 23:50:00
Subject: PRO/EDR> Gastroenteritis - Australia (Victoria): salmonellosis susp, RFI
Archive Number: 20050121.0208
GASTROENTERITIS - AUSTRALIA (VICTORIA): SALMONELLOSIS SUSPECTED, REQUEST
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2005
From: A-Lan Banks <a-Lan.Banks@thomson.com>
Source: News.com.au [edited]
The extent of a food poisoning outbreak at 2 Turkish restaurants in
Melbourne's inner-north continues to grow, with authorities investigating
more than 400 suspected cases.
The Department of Human Services (DHS) has confirmed 24 cases, with 7
people in hospital, including an 18-month-old baby. The Alasya Restaurant
and Alasya 2, both in Sydney Road, Brunswick, were closed on Wednesday
night, 19 Jan 2005, after the outbreak was discovered. They underwent heavy
cleaning on 20 Jan 2005.
Bread from an adjoining bakery, Alasya Cakes, which was distributed to a
number of restaurants and cafes around Melbourne, was recalled today, 21
Jan 2005, after the department discovered [the bakery] had not undergone
the same stringent cleaning process as the restaurants. The bakery had a
separate kitchen to the restaurants, but shared a staff toilet. The
restaurants would remain closed while local council, health officials and
the DHS investigated the cause, the DHS said.
The health official, Dr Carnie, said "We were under the impression that the
bakery would be cleaned up, and when I became aware that that hadn't
happened I instructed them to carry out that cleaning immediately this
morning. (Then) when I became aware of the fact that some of the bread
baked there had been delivered, I instructed the proprietor to recall that
-- which they have done."
He stressed that the risk of infection through bread was highly unlikely.
"Bread in itself is a very low-risk product; it is not one that's generally
associated with the transmission of infections."
Dr Carnie said the department had been overwhelmed with more than 400 calls
from people reporting illness after eating at the restaurant between 8 to
19 Jan 2005. "We are now going through the rather painstaking task of
interviewing these people to find out the range of dates they had eaten at
the restaurant and what sort of food they had consumed," he said.
Dr Carnie said they reported gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea,
vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea. A 16-year-old girl, a 36-year-old
woman and a 40-year-old woman were taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital on
20 Jan 2005 and released 21 Jan, but another 4 were admitted last night,
including an 18-month-old baby, he said.
Dr Carnie said there was one confirmed isolation of a salmonella infection
among the patients, but the source and etiology of the overall outbreak had
not been identified.
[A single case of salmonellosis has been identified, and ProMED awaits
further information on whether the outbreak overall is related to
salmonellosis and, if so, the identification of the type of _Salmonella
sp._ involved. The outbreak investigation should be able to link the
illness to a particular food or food(s). - Mod.LL]