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Thread: Why is it so hard to track the source of a food poisoning outbreak?

  1. #1
    Veteran Member Ora Moose's Avatar
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    7th May 2013
    near Boston

    Default Why is it so hard to track the source of a food poisoning outbreak?

    Sushrut Jangi
    October 11, 2017

    As a cluster of food poisoning cases grew, Boston’s public health system mobilized to discover the source of an unusual toxin.

    "It was an April afternoon, nine months into my fellowship in gastroenterology at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The 19-year-old, a student at Northeastern University, had been brought to the hospital that morning after passing bloody stools for several days. The shades were drawn so that he could sleep, but it wasn’t dim enough to obscure the worried look on his mother’s face. “We’ll figure this out,” I promised, taking her hand with my gloved fingers. The young man didn’t seem to hear me. I asked the nurse to send samples of his blood and stool down to the laboratory."

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    Last edited by Islander; 10-12-17 at 10:36 AM. Reason: formatting

  2. #2
    Administrator Islander's Avatar
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    16th September 2007
    Maine, USA. The way life should be.

    Default Re: Why is it so hard to track the source of a food poisoning outbreak?

    That is a fascinating article, Ora, thanks for finding it! Especially interesting was the Tedy Bruschi syndrome. My first thought was, why aren't they questioning these two victims about what they had eaten and where? Reading on, you discover that was in fact what they did, but the detective work wasn't as simple as I had assumed. My younger son rented a commercial kitchen in Somerville when he was trying out a career as a chocolatier. Imagine trying to look through rental kitchens for a source! And it's true about how people don't remember what they ate last night, or even for breakfast this morning, much less reviewing a week's worth of meals. And I hadn't realized how dangerous food poisoning can be.
    Kind of off-topic, but another thought I had, going back to my undergraduate years, was how these kids can afford to eat out every day. Times have changed!
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