CDC updatehttp://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/2006/september/updates/092206.htm A sample from a Maryland woman and some of the spinach she ate before she got sick are being tested at a Maryland state lab, and results may not be known for several days, Washington County Health Department spokesman Rod MacRae told the Associated Press (AP) today. Once investigators pinpoint the cause of the outbreak, federal officials will evaluate what went wrong, David Acheson, MD, chief medical officer for the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, said at a news conference yesterday. Officials will first determine if food safety rules were followed properly, he said. If spinach contamination occurred despite good compliance by farmers and producers, the FDA will consider issuing additional mandates, Acheson said. See also: The CDC said the woman died Sep 13 and had recently consumed fresh spinach. E coli O157:H7 was cultured from her stool, but DNA fingerprinting to determine if it is the outbreak strain has not been possible, the agency said. The CDC said today that 31% of children under 18 in the outbreak suffered HUS. For adults aged 18 to 59, the HUS rate was 7%, and for those 60 and older the rate was 16%. Teams from the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) and the state of California have narrowed their investigation of the outbreak to nine farms in California’s greater Salinas Valley area, on the basis of information from spinach bags found in the homes of some patients and records from three companies that recalled fresh spinach products. “This is a very suspicious association at this point, there’s no question about it,” MacRae said. He said the woman was a Washington County resident in her 80s. A 2-year-old Idaho boy with HUS died Sep 20, but E coli O157:H7 has not been detected in his samples, the CDC said. Christine Hahn, MD, an epidemiologist at the Idaho Department of Health, told the AP that the boy had bloody diarrhea and that family members said he had eaten packaged spinach. At an FDA press briefing yesterday, Acheson said one possibility would be labeling spinach with the place of origin. Sep 22, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Nine more cases were found in a nationwide outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7 infections linked to fresh spinach, raising the total to 166, and two more deaths are suspected to be part of the outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said today. Food growers have held meetings this week on how to strengthen their food safety processes. After a meeting yesterday between regulators and 200 industry members, Tom Nassif, president and chief executive officer of the Western Growers Association, told reporters that regulators said investigation findings and new industry-produced food safety guidelines are needed before the FDA will lift its warning against eating raw spinach. Nassif was quoted in the Monterey County (Calif.) Herald. Michael Doyle, director of the University of Georgia’s Center for Food Safety, told the Washington Post, “I liken this to Jack in the Box all over again.” He referred to a 1993 E coli outbreak linked to the chain’s hamburgers, which sickened 700 people and killed four children. The outbreak prompted the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to issue tougher processing standards. An article in the Los Angeles Times said today that regulatory oversight for fresh produce isn’t as rigorous as it is for beef, poultry, and seafood. Safety guidelines for the handling of fresh produce are voluntary, and the number of inspections of processing facilities has been declining for years, the article said. State health officials in Maryland and Idaho are awaiting test results to determine if two patients who died from known or suspected E coli infections this week have the same strain implicated in the outbreak. The outbreak has now affected people in 25 states, two more than yesterday, the CDC said. Eighty-eight people (53%) were hospitalized. Cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a serious complication of the illness, remain at 27. One death was previously confirmed to be linked to the outbreak. The FDA issued its fresh spinach alert on Sep 14 after the CDC announced that 50 patients in eight states had been diagnosed with E coli infections and that fresh or raw spinach was the food most of them had in common. “We know that if he had that kidney disease, it makes it very probable that he had E coli,” Hahn said. She added that test results would likely be available next week.
The member of parliament for the constituency of St. John in Barbados, Mara Thompson has formally announced that she will not be contesting the upcoming general election.Thompson, the widow of David Thompson, the sixth Prime Minister of Barbados, said that after eight years, she has decided to retire from public life.“I have taken a long hard look at myself and the needs of my family and I have decided to retire from public life,” said Thompson, who made the disclosure at a meeting of the ruling Democratic Labor Party (DLP), General Council late Wednesday.Thompson also thanked her constituents for supporting her over the years.“Just as I walked throughout the constituency and sought the support of the people of St. John when I wanted to become their MP, I am walking around in St. John, knocking on doors thanking the good people of St. John for their support for me over the years. I intend to do so face to face. They will see me. I will continue to visit each home because I want to thank you.”She added that following her husband’s death, her family was “cradled and buoyed by the people of St. John”.“They swept me into Parliament, giving me the very distinct honor of becoming their Parliamentary representative – I consider myself blessed to have been afforded the opportunity to serve my party and my St. John family.”Thompson, who was the first female Deputy Speaker of the House, has also endorsed the party’s General Secretary, George Pilgrim, as her successor.The constituency of St. John has been hailed as the DLP’s most secure seat since 1958.St. John was once held by the late Prime Minister Errol Barrow who died in office in 1987.Former Prime Minister David Thompson, was later elected for the seat, which he held until his death – also in office in October 2010.His widow won the seat in a by-election in January 2011 and also ran successfully during the 2013 general election.A date for a general election – that is constitutionally due by June this year, has not been set although Parliament was automatically dissolved on March 6.
The Women’s FA Cup starts on the weekend of March 6-9 with the prelims and comes to an end with the final between July 3-6, 2020.For all the leagues, there will be a break after the weekend of March 27-30, 2020 and they will resume on the weekend of April 10-13, 2020.The new Ghana Football season will be launched on Friday, December 20 at the Accra Sports Stadium. The Ghana Football Association has released the dates and corresponding match days for the upcoming Ghana football season.The dates cover the starts of the Ghana Premier League, the Division One League and the Women’s League. In addition, dates for the start of the various cup competitions: MTN FA Cup and the Women’s FA Cup have also been announced.The Ghana Premier League will start on the weekend of December 27-30 while the Division One starts on the weekend of January 10-13, 2020 with the Women’s League commencing on the weekend of January 17-20, 2020.For the MTN FA Cup, the preliminaries are between January 24 and 27, 2020 while the Round of 64 takes place on February 21- 24. The competition ends on July 26, 2020.