first_imgMar 24, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – State and federal public health officials are managing two large Salmonella outbreaks, one linked to contaminated groundwater that has sickened as many as 216 people in Alamosa, Colo., and another that is apparently connected to imported Honduran cantaloupe and involves 59 illnesses in 16 states and Canada.Salmonella in Colorado waterAfter state health officials confirmed dozens of Salmonella infections in Alamosa area residents, authorities tested the municipal water supply and found it was contaminated with bacteria, according to a Mar 21 emergency declaration from Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter.Today the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed that the pathogen was Salmonella, according to a statement from David Svaldi, president of Adams State College in Alamosa. The town of about 8,700 people is in south-central Colorado in the San Luis Valley, an area known for growing cool-weather crops.Media reports and official statements have not specified which Salmonella strain caused the illnesses.Area residents have been under a bottled-water advisory since Mar 19, according to a statement from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). According to an update on the Alamosa County Web site, authorities will begin a three-step process to clean up the municipal water system tomorrow. Residents have been advised that the bottled-water advisory may be in effect for up to 2 weeks.The CDPHE confirmed the first Salmonella infection on Mar 14, according to Ritter’s emergency declaration. As of yesterday, 216 cases of salmonellosis had been reported in Alamosa, of which 68 were confirmed by laboratory tests, according to the statement from Svaldi. Twelve Adams State students have reported symptoms, but laboratory tests have not yet confirmed the infections. Nine people have been hospitalized; no deaths have been reported.Authorities have not said how they think the water became contaminated with Salmonella. Ken Carlson, an environmental engineering professor from Colorado State University, said Alamosa’s water comes from five deep wells and is untreated, the Denver Post reported on Mar 21. More than half of the US drinking water supply consists of untreated groundwater, he told the Post, adding that groundwater typically never comes in contact with possibly contaminated surface water before reaching consumers.”Generally that’s been a good assumption. There have been very few outbreaks in these systems,” Carlson told the Post.Local residents are speculating that water could have been contaminated by sabotage or by an accident at a new water treatment plant that is under construction, according to the Post report.Michael Beach, a waterborne diseases specialist with the CDC, said that in the past 20 years there have been only five reported instances of Salmonella contamination in municipal water, according to the Post. He said one case involved contaminated groundwater, two were linked to water-distribution system breaches, and two involved disinfection problems. Since 1971, none of the 15 recorded cases of Salmonella contamination in city water supplies were caused by sabotage, Carlson told the Post.FDA, CDC investigate cantaloupeMeanwhile, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Mar 22 warned consumers not to eat cantaloupe from Honduran grower Agropecuaria Montelibano and ordered FDA field offices to detain all of the company’s cantaloupe shipments. The FDA said in a press release that between Jan 18 and Mar 5 it had received reports of 50 Salmonella cases in 16 states, along with 9 illnesses in Canada, linked through case-control studies to the consumption of Honduran cantaloupe.According to a Mar 22 statement from the CDC, the patients were found to have the same genetic fingerprint of Salmonella Litchfield. Patients’ ages range from under 1 year to 93 years. At least 14 patients have been hospitalized, but no deaths have been reported.The FDA’s traceback investigation indicated that cantaloupes consumed by patients with the outbreak strain were grown in Honduras, according to the CDC statement. Government statements did not make clear how the outbreak was linked to Agropecuaria Montelibano specifically. The FDA has advised US grocers, food service operators, and produce processors to remove the company’s products from their stocks; however, the CDC said the products may still be in grocery stores or consumers’ homes.Consumers who have cantaloupes in their homes can check with the markets where they purchased the product to see if the fruit came from the implicated Honduran grower, the FDA said. The CDC said consumers who have the potentially contaminated cantaloupe in their homes should throw the product away.See also:Mar 24 statement from Adams State College President David Svaldihttp://www.adams.edu/news/mar0822/mar0822.phpMar 22 FDA news release on cantaloupe contaminationhttp://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2008/NEW01808.html CDC statement on Salmonella outbreak linked to cantaloupehttp://www.cdc.gov/Salmonella/litchfield/last_img read more


first_imgØrsted has joined a GBP 400,000 sea state forecasting project, launched by UK’s national Operations & Maintenance (O&M) Centre of Excellence, a collaboration between the University of Hull and the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult. “This big-marine-data approach, along with bathymetry and site configuration data, is enabling researchers to produce an artificial intelligence-based method that will be used to make a step-change in the resolution and accuracy of fine-scale at offshore windfarm sites”, ORE Catapult said. Downward-facing radars have been installed on wind turbines turbines at Ørsted’s 258 MW Burbo Bank Extension offshore wind farm. The radars will record wave height, direction and period, together with combined met-ocean data and existing forecasts. The project’s goal is to deliver a significant reduction in missed working days by developing an innovative approach to sea state forecasting. By improving wave forecast modelling, the project team aims to contribute to increasing the accuracy of sea state forecasting at the level of an individual offshore wind turbine. This should drive efficiency gains in operations and maintenance, increase safety, and contribute to further reductions in the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCoE) for offshore wind, according to ORE Catapult. “With total O&M costs contributing around 25% to the lifetime costs of a typical offshore wind farm, the positive impact on planning by owners/operators is clear, with ORE Catapult analysis suggesting that innovations in forecasting techniques could help to reduce missed working days by a quarter”, ORE Catapult states.last_img read more


first_img– unlicensed gun, ammo found An unlicensed firearm with matching ammunition along with a spent shell was unearthed by law enforcement officers following a high-speed chase between them and two men who were in a white Toyota Premio motorcar in the streets of Georgetown on Friday afternoon.One of the two suspects is a known felon, Police said.During the high-speed chase, ranks noticed that a gun was thrown from the car in which the men were in at the corners of Smyth and Hadfield Street, Georgetown.Reports are at about 14:30h, a police patrol unit noticed the known felon in the car acting in a suspicious manner and approached the vehicle. Realising that the police vehicle was approaching, the two suspects tried to escape by driving away.As a result of this, the ranks in pursuit called for backup and another police patrol vehicle arrived to render assistance and the chase commenced.The men were eventually cornered and the two live rounds and a spent shell were found inside of the car. The police subsequently picked up the gun which the men had thrown out and found it to be a .32 revolver.According to the police, the two men are in custody pending charges and are also being questioned in relation to several other offences including armed robberies.last_img read more