Category Archives: Missouri

Missouri | Speech by St Louis Mayor Francis G. Slay on upcoming grand jury decision

11.21.14

Over the past 24 hours, two extraordinary speeches have happened. The County Executive and I wanted to address them. And to share, clearly, our thoughts as we draw closer to the St. Louis County grand jury’s decision and any reaction to it.

Yesterday, United States Attorney General Eric Holder, whose Justice Department is currently investigating Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson and Ferguson police department practices, took the nearly unprecedented step of addressing this local judicial situation and police responses to it. His statement acknowledged that the vast majority of police officers across this country honorably defend their fellow citizens on a daily basis. They are dedicated to public safety. He said that the federal Justice Department had issued new guidelines to help federal, state, and local enforcement officers safeguard the Constitutional rights of protesters while maintaining public safety. And, he called on protesters to conduct themselves peacefully.

Also yesterday, Michael Brown, Sr., in a courageous new video that many of you have now seen, issued the same call as Attorney General Holder for peace and change. “No matter what the grand jury decides,” he said, “I don’t want my son’s death to be in vain.”

And, I’m here to tell you that it can’t be. And, it won’t be. For the past hundred days, Charlie and I – and our police commanders – have engaged in many conversations with community leaders and with some of the protest leaders about the days to come after the grand jury decision.

That is because we believe in would be imprudent not to plan for protests, regardless of the grand jury’s decision.

We have been criticized by some for sitting down with the protest leaders. The protest’s leaders have been criticized for sitting down with us. We did so because in similar situations in other cities, things ended up very, very badly. We do not want that for our region. This is our City, and we live here together.

With that in mind, our police commanders engaged with some protest leaders on rules of conduct. In person and on conference calls, the two sides have met five times to discuss them.

The police commanders – and Charlie and I — agreed to most of the rules because they made sense, or, we already follow them. We did not agree to some of the proposed rules because those rules would have limited officers’ ability to keep people and property safe.

The bottom line is that we have instructed our police officers to protect the protesters’ Constitutional rights. We have directed them to use more active tactics only when necessary to keep people safe or to protect property.

If there are protests, we expect some of the protesters will be disruptive. They will likely try, as they did in October, to inconvenience people to make their point.

If protesters are not violent, police will not be aggressive. But, if some protesters turn violent or threatening, police will respond to keep everyone safe — including bystanders, the peaceful protesters, and police officers themselves.

When demonstrators are being civilly disobedient, they will, in most cases, be given a chance to adhere to the law before they are arrested. And then, if necessary, they will be arrested in a non violent manner.

Depending on the circumstances, we may allow them to occupy public space longer than normally tolerated. That will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

Our departments will dress appropriately to protect themselves –not to intimidate peaceful protesters.

Police tactics will not change based on the words protesters use — but their actions.

Our goal, our job, and our prayer, is that at the end of each day, everyone goes home safe— police, protesters, and people who are not involved; that there is no widespread damage to people’s homes and businesses; and that we are in a position to begin to heal, to close the racial divide, and to make the changes needed to make St. Louis a more fair and just city for everyone.

Charlie and I both strongly support law enforcement. The vast majority of our City and County officers are well trained professionals who have done an incredible job during the protests, and even before that, keeping people safe and protecting people’s rights. During “Ferguson October,” police officers were the targets of a great deal of invective. Some protesters tried to bait City police officers into taking aggressive action. Not one of our officers took the bait. They showed tremendous restraint and professionalism. They showed the world that they are one of the best police departments in the country. I fully expect that they will do their jobs just as well this time.

It is important to remember that we are going to have to work together to make needed change to make St. Louis more fair, more just and more prosperous for everyone. I ask everyone – protesters and police officers and everyone else –to remember our underlying goal: to protect the demonstrators’ constitutional rights and to keep everyone safe.

Sixty-five years ago, President Harry Truman said: Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.

St. Louis, City and region, is not – not – going to go down that path.

Missouri | Gov Nixon activates National Guard to support law enforcement in event of unrest in St Louis region

Gov. Jay Nixon today signed an executive order activating the Missouri National Guard to support law enforcement during any period of unrest that might occur following the grand jury’s decision concerning the investigation into the death of Michael Brown.  The Governor said the Guard will provide support for law enforcement’s objectives of maintaining safety and protecting constitutional rights. 

“As part of our ongoing efforts to plan and be prepared for any contingency, it is necessary to have these resources in place in advance of any announcement of the grand jury’s decision,” Gov. Nixon said. “These additional resources will support law enforcement’s efforts to maintain peace and protect those exercising their right to free speech. The National Guard is well-suited to provide security at command posts, fire stations and other locations as well as perform other functions that will free up law enforcement officers to remain focused on community policing and protecting constitutional rights.”

Gov. Nixon’s executive order also establishes that the Missouri State Highway Patrol, St. Louis County Police Department and St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department will operate as a unified command to keep members of the public safe and protect property, while allowing citizens to exercise their constitutional rights.  Under the executive order, the St. Louis County Police Department will have command and operational control over security in the City of Ferguson in areas of protests and acts of civil disobedience, should such activities occur.

“All people in the St. Louis region deserve to feel safe in their communities and to make their voices heard without fear of violence or intimidation,” said Gov. Nixon. “Public safety demands that we are fully prepared for any contingency, regardless of what the St. Louis County grand jury or the U.S. Department of Justice decides.”

The St. Louis County prosecutor has said publicly that an announcement of the grand jury’s decision will be made later this month. The United States Department of Justice, which is conducting both civil and criminal investigations of the death of Michael Brown, has not announced when its investigations will be concluded.

“Our department, like other police departments in the region, has a full time job keeping our neighborhoods safe.  We are used to working with other agencies in times of necessity,” said St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief Sam Dotson. “Having the support of the National Guard available will enable local officers to continue to respond promptly to calls for service.”

“We have taken tremendous strides over the past three months, as our officers have undergone thousands of hours of additional training and reached out to build strong relationships across the community,” said St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar. “These additional resources will enhance our ability to achieve our key responsibilities: keeping the public safe, protecting property and enabling people to exercise their constitutional rights.”

Requests from local law enforcement for duties to be performed by the Guard will be handled through the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

“These past three months have been challenging for our community but we have come together in many measurable ways,” said Captain Ron Johnson, commander of Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop C. “The power of communication within the community has allowed us to take steps toward peaceful change that demonstrate the true character of North County. The availability of the National Guard will ensure that law enforcement has the resources to protect three things vital to our community: public safety, property and the constitutional rights of all.”

The Missouri National Guard has been deployed a total of 32 times since 2001 to assist local communities with emergency preparedness and response, from shoring up levees during floods to providing security following the Joplin tornado. The Guard will be commanded by Brigadier General Gregory Mason, a retired 30-year veteran of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

The Governor’s executive order is available here.

Kansas | Respiratory illnesses due to Enterovirus D68 in Kansas City MO

A pediatric hospital in Kansas City, MO, has experienced more than 300 cases of respiratory illnesses in its facility, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

Approximately 15 percent of those illnesses have resulted in children being placed in an intensive care unit. Testing of specimens from several cases at a specialized laboratory at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicated that 19 of the 22 specimens were positive for Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68).

The St. Louis area is also experiencing a recent increase in pediatric respiratory illnesses. Many specimens from those cases have tested positive for enterovirus, and further testing for specific virus type is pending. To date, no deaths have been reported due to EV-D68 in Missouri. Other Midwestern states also are reporting an increase in respiratory illnesses.

The Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department is unaware of any cases in Douglas County. Kim Ens, director of Clinic Services, said, “Parents should contact a health care provider immediately if their child has cold-like symptoms and experiences difficulty with breathing.”

Information about Enterovirus D68:

Enteroviruses

• Enteroviruses are very common viruses; there are more than 100 types.

• It is estimated that 10 to 15 million enterovirus infections occur in the United States each year.

• Enteroviruses can cause respiratory illness, febrile rash, and neurologic illnesses, such as aseptic meningitis (swelling of the tissue covering the brain and spinal cord) and encephalitis (swelling of the brain).

• Most infected people have no symptoms or only mild symptoms, but some infections can be serious.

• Infants, children, and teenagers are most likely to get infected with enteroviruses and become sick.

• Most enterovirus infections in the United States occur seasonally during the summer and fall.

Enterovirus D68

• Enterovirus D68 infections are thought to occur less commonly than infections with other enteroviruses.

• EV-D68 was first identified in California in 1962. Compared with other enteroviruses, EV-D68 has been rarely reported in the United States.

Symptoms

• EV-D68 has been reported to cause mild to severe respiratory illness. However, the full spectrum of EV-D68 illness is not well-defined.

Transmission

• EV-D68 is not frequently identified, so it is less studied and the ways it spreads are not as well-understood as other enteroviruses. EV-D68 causes respiratory illness, and the virus can be found in respiratory secretions such as saliva, nasal mucus, or sputum. The virus likely spreads from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or touches surfaces.

Treatment

• There is no specific treatment for EV-D68 infections.

—  Many infections will be mild and self-limited, requiring only treatment of the symptoms.
—  Some people with severe respiratory illness caused by EV-D68 may need to be hospitalized and receive intensive supportive therapy.

• No antiviral medications are currently available for treating of EV-D68 infections.

Prevention

• There are no vaccines for preventing EV-D68 infections.

• You can help protect yourself from respiratory illnesses by following these steps:

— Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after changing diapers
— Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
— Avoid kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick
— Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick

USA | Severe Respiratory Illness Associated with Enterovirus D68 — Missouri and Illinois, 2014

CDC – MMWR Vol 63. Early Release

Severe Respiratory Illness Associated with Enterovirus D68 — Missouri and Illinois, 2014

September 8, 2014 / 63(Early Release);1-2

Claire M. Midgley, PhD1,2, Mary Anne Jackson, MD3, Rangaraj Selvarangan, PhD4, George Turabelidze, MD5, Emily Obringer, MD6, Daniel Johnson, MD6, B. Louise Giles, MD6, Ajanta Patel, MD6, Fredrick Echols, MD7, M. Steven Oberste, PhD2, W. Allan Nix2, John T. Watson, MD2, Susan I. Gerber, MD2 (Author affiliations at end of text)

On August 19, 2014, CDC was notified by Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, of an increase (relative to the same period in previous years) in patients examined and hospitalized with severe respiratory illness, including some admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit. An increase also was noted in detections of rhinovirus/enterovirus by a multiplex polymerase chain reaction assay in nasopharyngeal specimens obtained during August 5–19. On August 23, CDC was notified by the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital in Illinois of an increase in patients similar to those seen in Kansas City. To further characterize these two geographically distinct observations, nasopharyngeal specimens from most of the patients with recent onset of severe symptoms from both facilities were sequenced by the CDC Picornavirus Laboratory. Enterovirus D68* (EV-D68) was identified in 19 of 22 specimens from Kansas City and in 11 of 14 specimens from Chicago. Since these initial reports, admissions for severe respiratory illness have continued at both facilities at rates higher than expected for this time of year. Investigations into suspected clusters in other jurisdictions are ongoing.

Of the 19 patients from Kansas City in whom EV-D68 was confirmed, 10 (53%) were male, and ages ranged from 6 weeks to 16 years (median = 4 years). Thirteen patients (68%) had a previous history of asthma or wheezing, and six patients (32%) had no underlying respiratory illness. All patients had difficulty breathing and hypoxemia, and four (21%) also had wheezing. Notably, only five patients (26%) were febrile. All patients were admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit, and four required bilevel positive airway pressure ventilation. Chest radiographs showed perihilar infiltrates, often with atelectasis. Neither chest radiographs nor blood cultures were consistent with bacterial coinfection.

Of the 11 patients from Chicago in whom EV-D68 was confirmed, nine patients were female, and ages ranged from 20 months to 15 years (median = 5 years). Eight patients (73%) had a previous history of asthma or wheezing. Notably, only two patients (18%) were febrile. Ten patients were admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit for respiratory distress; two required mechanical ventilation (one of whom also received extracorporeal membrane oxygenation), and two required bilevel positive airway pressure ventilation.

Enteroviruses are associated with various clinical symptoms, including mild respiratory illness, febrile rash illness, and neurologic illness, such as aseptic meningitis and encephalitis. EV-D68, however, primarily causes respiratory illness (1), although the full spectrum of disease remains unclear. EV-D68 is identified using molecular techniques at a limited number of laboratories in the United States. Enterovirus infections, including EV-D68, are not reportable, but laboratory detections of enterovirus and parechovirus types are reported voluntarily to the National Enterovirus Surveillance System, which is managed by CDC. Participating laboratories are encouraged to report monthly summaries of virus type, specimen type, and collection date.

Since the original isolation of EV-D68 in California in 1962 (2), EV-D68 has been reported rarely in the United States; the National Enterovirus Surveillance System received 79 EV-D68 reports during 2009–2013. Small clusters of EV-D68 associated with respiratory illness were reported in the United States during 2009–2010 (3).

There are no available vaccines or specific treatments for EV-D68, and clinical care is supportive. Health care providers should consider EV-D68 as a possible cause of acute, unexplained severe respiratory illness; suspected clusters or outbreaks should be reported to local or state health departments. CDC’s Picornavirus Laboratory (e-mail: wnix@cdc.gov) is available for assistance with diagnostic testing.

1Epidemic Intelligence Service, 2Division of Viral Diseases, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, CDC; 3Infectious Disease Department, 4Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Children’s Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, Missouri; 5Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services; 6University of Chicago Medicine; 7Illinois Department of Public Health. (Corresponding author: Claire M. Midgley, cmidgley@cdc.gov)

References

Oberste MS, Maher K, Schnurr D, et al. Enterovirus 68 is associated with respiratory illness and shares biological features with both the enteroviruses and the rhinoviruses. J Gen Virol 2004;85:2577–84.

Schieble JH, Fox VL, Lennette EH. A probable new human picornavirus associated with respiratory disease. Am J Epidemiol 1967;85:297–310.

CDC. Clusters of acute respiratory illness associated with human enterovirus 68—Asia, Europe, and United States, 2008–2010. MMWR 2011;60:1301–4.

* Enterovirus and rhinovirus species names recently were revised to remove host names and to append the type number to the species designation; hence, human enterovirus 68 (HEV-68, also previously called EV68) is now EV-D68.

Alabama | State experiences significant H1N1 influenza activity this season

While the flu season is just getting started in much of the country, activity is already high in Alabama, along with Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.

Reports from Alabama’s network of providers who report influenza-like illness and send influenza samples for testing to the Department of Public Health indicate the geographic spread of influenza in Alabama is widespread for the third week in a row.

Influenza type A, H1N1 (also known as 2009 H1N1, the pandemic strain, or pH1N1) has been the predominant strain circulating virus so far this season. One characteristic of pH1N1 is that, similar to the pandemic of 2009, young and middle-aged adults seem to have a greater chance of severe influenza.

Flu is a very contagious respiratory illness. Some of the symptoms of influenza can be fever, cough, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, headache, muscle aches and extreme fatigue. Influenza can be a serious disease for anyone, even children, pregnant women and previously healthy young adults.

An annual influenza vaccination is recommended for everyone 6 months and older. The flu vaccine this year includes protection against H1N1. Flu vaccines are available as shots and nasal spray. Physicians, nurses and pharmacists can advise patients which type of flu vaccine is right for them.

In addition to taking the flu vaccine, other measures can reduce or prevent the spread of influenza. These include staying at home when sick, covering the mouth and nose with a tissue/cloth when coughing or sneezing, and washing hands or using hand sanitizer frequently.

Dr. Karen Landers, Assistant State Health Officer, said, “Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others. It’s not too late to get a flu shot to protect against this serious disease. People become protected about two weeks after receiving the vaccine.”

There are no reports of influenza vaccine shortages this season.

Contact your private provider, pharmacy or local county health department to receive an influenza vaccination. For more information contact the Immunization Division of the Alabama Department of Public Health at (334) 206-5023 or toll free at 800-469-4599.

USA | 317 people infected with seven outbreak strains of Salmonella Heidelberg

As of October 11, 2013, a total of 317 individuals infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Heidelberg have been reported from 20 states and Puerto Rico. Most of the ill persons (73%) have been reported from California.

Since the last update on October 8, 2013, a total of 39 additional ill persons have been identified from 9 states and Puerto Rico: Arizona (2), California (19), Florida (2), Kentucky (1), Missouri (5), Nevada (1), New Mexico (2), Puerto Rico (1), Texas (4), and Virginia (2).

Of the 39 additional ill persons, two have estimated illness onset dates after September 24, 2013, the last illness onset date reported in the October 8, 2013 outbreak announcement. Since the last update, one ill person originally reported from Hawaii was found to be a resident of Florida. This person is now included in the Florida case count.

Among 310 persons for whom information is available, illness onset dates range from March 1, 2013 to September 26, 2013. Ill persons range in age from less than 1 year to 93 years, with a median age of 20 years. Fifty-one percent of ill persons are male. Among 189 persons with available information, 79 (42%) reported being hospitalized. Thirteen percent of ill persons developed blood infections as a result of their illness. Typically, approximately 5% of persons ill with Salmonella infections develop blood infections. No deaths have been reported.

Illnesses that occurred after September 5, 2013 might not be reported yet due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of 2 to 3 weeks.

Investigation Update

To date, seven strains of Salmonella Heidelberg have been included in this investigation based on epidemiologic, laboratory and traceback information. The information collected for cases associated with each strain indicates that each of the strains is linked to this outbreak of multidrug-resistant Salmonella Heidelberg infections and that Foster Farms brand chicken is the likely source.

CDC’s NARMS laboratory conducted antibiotic-resistance testing on clinical isolates collected from ten ill persons infected with three of the seven outbreak strains. Nine of these isolates exhibited drug resistance to one or more commonly prescribed antibiotics. Of those, three were multidrug resistant. One isolate was susceptible to all antibiotics tested. To date, isolates collected from ill persons were resistant to combinations of the following antibiotics: ampicillin, chloramphenicol, gentamicin, kanamycin, streptomycin, sulfisoxazole, and tetracycline. Antimicrobial resistance may increase the risk of hospitalization or possible treatment failure in infected individuals.

On October 10, 2013, USDA-FSIS announced that Foster Farms submitted and implemented immediate substantive changes to their slaughter and processing to allow for continued operations. FSIS inspectors will verify that these changes are being implemented on a continuous and ongoing basis. Additionally, the agency will continue intensified sampling and testing of chicken products from these facilities for at least the next 90 days.

CDC and state and local public health partners are continuing laboratory surveillance through PulseNet to identify additional ill persons and to interview them about foods eaten before becoming ill. USDA-FSIS is continuing to work closely with CDC and state partners during this investigation.

Initial Announcement

October 8, 2013

CDC is collaborating with public health and agriculture officials in many states and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) to investigate a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg infections. Public health investigators are using DNA “fingerprints” of Salmonella bacteria obtained through diagnostic testing with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, or PFGE, to identify cases of illness that may be part of this outbreak. They are using data from PulseNet, the national subtyping network made up of state and local public health laboratories and federal food regulatory laboratories that performs molecular surveillance of foodborne infections. Seven strains of Salmonella Heidelberg bacteria have been identified as being linked to this outbreak. Four of these strains are rarely reported to PulseNet. The other three strains are more common, with several ill persons infected with each strain reported to CDC monthly. The DNA fingerprints of the Salmonella Heidelberg bacteria associated with the current outbreak include the strain that was also associated with a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg linked to Foster Farms brand chicken during 2012-2013.

As of October 7, 2013, a total of 278 individuals infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Heidelberg have been reported from 17 states. Most of the ill persons (77%) have been reported from California. The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Alaska (2), Arkansas (1), Arizona (11), California (213), Colorado (4), Connecticut (1), Florida (1), Hawaii (1), Idaho (2), Michigan (2), North Carolina (1), Nevada (8), Oregon (8), Texas (5), Utah (2), Washington (15) and Wisconsin (1).

Among 274 persons for whom information is available, illness onset dates range from March 1 to September 24, 2013. Ill persons range in age from <1 year to 93 years, with a median age of 20 years. Fifty-one percent of ill persons are male. Among 183 persons with available information, 76 (42%) reported being hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

The outbreak can be visually described with a chart showing the number of people who became ill each day or week. This chart is called an epi curve. Illnesses that occurred after September 1, 2013 might not be reported yet due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of 2 to 3 weeks. For more details, please see Salmonella Outbreak Investigations: Timeline for Reporting Cases.

Investigation of the Outbreak

Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback investigations conducted by officials in local, state, and federal public health, agriculture, and regulatory agencies indicate that consumption of Foster Farms brand chicken is the likely source of this outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg infections.

In interviews, ill persons answered questions about foods consumed and other exposures during the week before becoming ill. One hundred and five (80%) of 132 ill persons interviewed report consuming chicken prepared at home in the week before becoming ill. This proportion is significantly higher when compared with results from a survey of healthy persons Adobe PDF file [PDF – 29 pages] in which 65% reported consuming chicken prepared at home in the week before they were interviewed. Among those who had brand information available, 48 (79%) of 61 ill persons reported that they had consumed Foster Farms brand chicken or another brand likely produced by Foster Farms.

The National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring SystemExternal Web Site Icon (NARMS) retail meat surveillance program is an ongoing collaboration among the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, CDC, and participating state public health laboratories. NARMS monitors antibiotic resistance in Salmonella, Campylobacter, Enterococcus, and Escherichia coli bacteria isolated from raw retail meats. NARMS laboratorians isolated four of the seven outbreak strains from five retail samples of Foster Farms chicken breasts and wings collected in California. Four of these isolates exhibited drug resistance to one or more commonly prescribed antibiotics. Of these, two were multidrug resistant (defined as resistance to three or more classes of antibiotics). Not all isolates from poultry exhibited the same antibiotic-resistance pattern. To date, isolates collected from poultry were resistant to combinations of the following antibiotics: ampicillin, chloramphenicol, gentamicin, kanamycin, streptomycin, sulfisoxazole, and tetracycline.

Additionally, CDC’s NARMS laboratory conducted antibiotic-resistance testing on clinical isolates collected from five ill persons infected with two of the seven outbreak strains. Four of these isolates exhibited drug resistance to one or more commonly prescribed antibiotics. Of those, two were multidrug resistant. One isolate was susceptible to all antibiotics tested. To date, isolates collected from ill persons were resistant to combinations of the following antibiotics: ampicillin, chloramphenicol, gentamicin, kanamycin, streptomycin, sulfisoxazole, and tetracycline. Antimicrobial resistance may increase the risk of hospitalization or possible treatment failure in infected individuals.

Testing conducted by the Washington State Public Health Laboratories identified one of the outbreak strains of Salmonella Heidelberg in one leftover intact sample of raw Foster Farms chicken collected from an ill person’s home in Washington.

Preliminary laboratory testing identified four of the seven outbreak strains from multiple chicken product samples at three Foster Farms facilities; additional analysis is ongoing. USDA-FSIS has issued a Public Health AlertExternal Web Site Icon due to concerns that illnesses caused by strains of Salmonella Heidelberg are associated with raw chicken products produced by Foster Farms at three facilities in California. At this point in the investigation, FSIS is unable to link the illnesses to a specific product and a specific production period. The products were mainly distributed to retail outlets in California, Oregon and Washington State. Raw products from the facilities in question bear one of the establishment numbers inside a USDA mark of inspection or elsewhere on the package “P6137,” “P6137A,” and “P7632.”

CDC and state and local public health partners are continuing laboratory surveillance through PulseNet to identify additional ill persons and to interview about foods eaten before becoming ill. USDA-FSIS is continuing to work closely with CDC and state partners during this investigation.

Missouri | Three confirmed cases of Cyclospora

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services was notified by a health provider in the Kansas City metro area of a case of Cyclospora. Previously, the department announced that health providers in Jackson County and Taney County reported two cases of Cyclospora.

This brings the total to three confirmed cases of Cyclospora in Missouri.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is currently working with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other agencies to investigate whether or not these cases are linked to cases in other states.

At this point, the source of the illnesses has not been confirmed. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services will continue to provide information as it becomes available.

In the meantime, any individuals experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhea (especially, those with prolonged symptoms), severe stomach cramps, or nausea, should seek medical attention.

For more information about Cyclospora, visit the CDC website: http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/cyclosporiasis/outbreaks/investigation-2013.html.

Alabama | Health officials investigate foodborne outbreak in Sumter County

The Alabama Department of Public Health is investigating a foodborne outbreak that has affected at least 36 people who ate a meal around noon on July 6 served to persons attending a funeral at Eastern Star Baptist Church in York.

More than 100 people are reported to have attended this funeral.

Initial reports indicate that at least 30 have been hospitalized with some in serious condition. The ongoing investigation has involved hospitals in at least 9 states. These states currently include Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Oklahoma. Preliminary tests at the Alabama Bureau of Clinical Laboratories are positive for salmonella, and additional tests are pending.

ADPH’s investigation began July 8 after a report from a local hospital that 25 people had been seeking emergency room care late on July 6 and 7 with symptoms of fever, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.

“If you attended this event and are ill, please contact your physician,” advised Dr. Mary McIntyre, Assistant State Health Officer for Disease Control and Prevention

Missouri | Gov. Nixon calls on General Assembly to reverse cuts to public safety and emergency response funding

During a speech before hundreds of emergency responders, planners and volunteer agency representatives at the State Emergency Management Agency’s annual conference today, Gov. Jay Nixon called on the General Assembly to reverse dramatic cuts to public safety and homeland security funding in the budget passed by the Missouri Senate earlier this week. 

“On countless occasions, here in Missouri and across the nation, we have seen the importance of local communities being able to effectively and rapidly respond to natural and man-made disasters,” Gov. Nixon said.

“Cutting by fifty percent the federal funds that help our communities respond to these challenges, as the Senate’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget would do, is simply wrong. I urge the General Assembly to take the House position to support public safety and ensure our emergency responders have the resources they need to keep our communities safe.”

The Senate’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget included a $21 million cut to federal homeland security funds, representing about half of the funding that helps local communities prepare for and respond to emergencies like terrorist attacks and natural disasters. The Senate’s budget also cut $1 million in General Revenue from the Department of Public Safety, including all the funding available for the Peace Officer Standards and Training Program (POST).

Missouri | Gov. Nixon declares state of emergency in response to flooding; activates National Guard

Gov. Jay Nixon today declared a state of emergency in Missouri after a strong storm system that included heavy rainfall led to flash flooding in many parts of the state and to rapidly rising rivers levels on the Mississippi and Missouri rivers.

The Governor activated the Missouri National Guard and citizen-soldiers are being deployed to assist the city of Clarksville and other communities along the Mississippi River to assist in the flood fight.

“The sustained periods of heavy rainfall has swollen creeks and streams and is pushing the Mississippi River over flood levels, endangering river communities,” Gov. Nixon said. “We will work closely with local officials and volunteers to support and protect communities, and the men and women of the National Guard will play a vital role in this fight.”

The State Emergency Operations Center has been actively monitoring the storm system since its activation last week to respond to the severe storms and tornadoes that impacted Missouri on April 10.  Gov. Nixon has also activated the Missouri State Emergency Operations Plan, which allows state agencies to coordinate directly with local jurisdictions to provide emergency services.