- Hello Jeff - As I mentioned previously, a blackout that
would last for an extended period of time would kill MORE people then a
- Food-borne illness is only ONE illness that we will see
spike in power outage states. Vectored illness will be a significant
problem, in my opinion. Many people who are not accustomed to overnighting
in the out-of-doors will be a risk for West Nile Virus and other mosquito
illness. Those who were in the outdoors in tick, fly and flea infested
areas are at risk for Lyme Disease, Ehrlichiosis, Babesiosis, Rocky Mountain
Spotted Fever, Tick Paralysis etc etal.
- It appears that the NYC health dept does expect to see
spike in illness after the blackout and they appear to be monitoring for
cases. I hope that they are also monitoring for vectored illnesses like
- Again, I think that the US needs to make immediate upgrades
of infrastructure, especially when it comes to generation, tramsmission
and continuity of electric power. All of our monitary resources should
have and should be going into upgrading power supply and modernizing the
grid system. Nation building needs to be done here, at home. As I mentioned,
more people would die during a significant power outage then would die
in smallpox or ebola outbreak. I would hope that George W Bush would
take this into consideration before he spends more of our resources Nation
building around the globe.
- Patricia Doyle
- DIARRHEA, POST-BLACKOUT - USA (NEW YORK CITY)
- A ProMED-mail post www.promedmail.org ProMED-mail is
a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseases www.isid.org
- Date: Sun, 17 Aug 2003 From: ProMED-mail <email@example.com>
Source: New York City Department of Health website [edited]
- New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Issues Health Advisory on Food-Borne Illnesses
- Earlier this evening, the Department of Health and Mental
Hygiene's syndromic surveillance system detected a higher-than-usual number
of visits for diarrheal illnesses at emergency departments in New York
City. The Health Department is continuing to investigate the increase
and monitor the trend.
- Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden, MD, MPH, said, "While
we do not know the specific cause of this spike in diarrheal illnesses,
it is possible that it was caused by spoiled food eaten at home or elsewhere.
This underscores the need to make sure that food that spoiled during the
power outage is not consumed and is thrown out if there is any doubt as
to its safety. It is critical for New Yorkers to avoid getting sick by
following food safety guidelines.
- The 5 key rules are:
- 1. Use common sense -- foods, such as dairy products,
meat (red meat, chicken, and seafood), and particularly items such as previously
cooked rice or potatoes, are not safe to eat after a prolonged period without
refrigeration. 2. Better safe than sorry. 3. Evaluate each food item separately.
4. Never taste food to see if it is bad. 5. "When in doubt, throw
- The Health Department emphasized that testing of the
drinking water in New York City by the Department of Environmental Protection
continues to confirm that the drinking water is safe.
- Detailed food safety guidelines are given below:
- Perishable, refrigerated foods that have been without
refrigeration and at more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit for more than 2 hours
should be discarded. Refrigerated foods that should be discarded include
meat (red meat, chicken, seafood), hot dogs, bacon, pizza, open canned
meats, soft cheeses, milk, yogurt, eggs or egg dishes, fresh cut fruits,
opened mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, creamy salad dressings, opened
tomato sauces, biscuits, rolls, cookie dough, cooked pasta, pasta salads,
cheesecake, cream-filled pastries, cooked vegetables, baked potatoes, and
- Any perishable food that has thawed for more than 2 hours
and is above 40 degrees Fahrenheit -- whether from the refrigerator or
the freezer -- should be discarded.
- Food items that can be kept for a limited period of time
without refrigeration include: Hard, processed cheeses: (e.g., cheddar,
swiss, parmesan, provolone, romano); butter, margarine; opened fruit juices,
opened canned fruits, peanut butter, jellies and mustards, opened vinegar-based
dressings, breads, rolls, cakes, muffins, breads, waffles, pancakes, bagels,
pies, fruit, herbs, spices, and raw vegetables.
- Any food items discarded should be disposed of in double-bagged
plastic garbage bags and should be well-tied, and/or in sealed plastic
containers or sealed (e.g. zipper-locked) plastic bags.
- After the power returned, it was OK to refreeze frozen
foods that still contained ice crystals and felt cold. These include beef,
veal, poultry and ground meats, fish, shellfish, seafood products, egg
products, soft and hard cheese, casseroles, juices, fruits, vegetables,
cakes, pies, pastries, flours, cornmeal, and frozen meals.
- As a general rule, a well-functioning freezer that was
unopened and at least half full will have kept foods cold for about 24
- The Health Department has dispatched dozens of inspectors
to food establishments citywide to make sure they comply with these guidelines.
- New Yorkers concerned about food poisoning can call the
New York City Poison Control Center at (212) POISONS or (212) 764-7667
or 311 and can register complaints though 311 or the DOHMH website at <http://www.nyc.gov/health>.
New Yorkers are asked to call 911 only for emergencies. More information
on food safety recommendations can also be found at the U.S. Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention site at <http://www.cdc.gov>.
- -- ProMED-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- [This outbreak of gastrointestinal illness was picked
up by the surveillance system in New York City designed to identify spikes
in one of a number of syndromes related to natural or man-made outbreaks.
The further evaluation of these illnesses is underway, and the proper triage
of food following the power failure is explained above. - Mod.LL] .................jw/ll/pg/jw
- Patricia A. Doyle, PhD Please visit my "Emerging
Diseases" message board at: http://www.clickitnews.com/ubbthreads/postlist.php?Cat=&Board=emergingdiseases
Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa Go with God and in Good Health