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עמוד בית
Sat, 20.07.24

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February 2009
C. Stein-Zamir, E. Tallen-Gozani, N. Abramson, H. Shoob, R. Yishai, V. Agmon, A. Reisfeld, L. Valinsky and E. Marva

Background: Foodborne Salmonella enterica outbreaks constitute both a threat to public health and an economic burden worldwide.

Objectives: To characterize the pathogen(s) involved and possible source of infection of an outbreak of acute gastroenteritis in a banqueting hall in Jerusalem.

Methods: We conducted interviews of guests and employees of the banqueting hall, and analyzed food items, samples from work surfaces and stool cultures.

Results: Of 770 persons participating in three events on 3 consecutive days at a single banqueting hall, 124 were interviewed and 75 reported symptoms. Salmonella enterica, serovar Enteritidis, phage type C-8, was isolated from: 10 stool cultures (eight guests, one symptomatic employee and one asymptomatic employee) and a sample of a mayonnaise-based egg salad. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis[c1]  of the isolates revealed an identical pattern in the outbreak isolates, different from SE C-8 controls. A culture-positive, asymptomatic employee was linked to all three events. After a closure order, allowing for cleaning of the banqueting hall, revision of food preparation procedures and staff instruction on hygiene, the banqueting hall was reopened with no subsequent outbreaks.

Conclusions: It is often difficult to pinpoint the source of infection in S. enterica outbreaks. Using molecular subtyping methods, a link was confirmed between patients, a food handler, (presumably a carrier) and a food item – all showing an identical specific Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis. Testing asymptomatic as well as symptomatic food handlers in outbreak investigations is imperative. Pre- and post-hiring screening might be considered as preventive measures; hygiene and sanitation education are essential.





 [c1]OK




 
February 2007
D. Heymann, Y. Shilo, A. Tirosh, L. Valinsky, S. Vinker

Background: In 2003 a total of 43 soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces committed suicide; only 20% of them were known to the IDF[1] mental health services. Somatic symptoms are often the only presentation of emotional distress during the primary care visit and may be the key to early identification and treatment.

Objectives: To examine whether the information in the medical records of soldiers can be used to identify those suffering from anxiety, affective or somatoform disorder.

Methods: We conducted a case-control study using the information in the electronic medical records of soldiers who during their 3 year service developed affective disorder, anxiety, or somatoform disorder. A control group was matched for recruitment date, type of unit and occupation in the service, and the Performance Prediction Score. The number and reasons for physician visits were collated.

Results: The files of 285 soldiers were examined: 155 cases and 130 controls. The numbers of visits (mean SD) during the 3 and 6 month periods in the case and control groups were 4.7 ± 3.3 and 7.1 ± 5.0, and 4.1 ± 2.9 and 5.9 ± 4.6 respectively. The difference was statistically significant only for the 6 month period (P < 0.05). The variables that remained significant, after stepwise multivariate regression were the Performance Prediction Score and the presenting complaints of back pain and diarrhea.

Conclusions: These findings may spur the development of a computer-generated warning for the primary care physician who will then be able to interview his or her patient appropriately and identify mental distress earlier. 






[1] IDF = Israel Defense Force


September 2006
D. Nitzan Kaluski, E. Barak, Z. Kaufman, L. Valinsky, E. Marva, Z. Korenman, Z. Gorodnitzki, R. Yishai, D. Koltai, A. Leventhal, S. Levine, O. Havkin and M.S. Green

Contamination of food with streptococci could present with unusual outbreaks that may be difficult to recognize in the early stages. This is demonstrated in a large food-borne outbreak of streptococcal pharyngitis that occurred in 2003 in a factory in Israel. The outbreak was reported to the public health services on July 2 and an epidemiologic investigation was initiated. Cases and controls were interviewed and throat swabs taken. An estimated 212 cases occurred within the first 4 days, the peak occurring on the second day. There was a wave of secondary cases during an additional 11 days. The early signs were of a respiratory illness including sore throat, weakness and fever, with high absenteeism rates suggesting a respiratory illness. As part of a case-control study, cases and controls were interviewed and throat swabs taken. Illness was significantly associated with consumption of egg-mayonnaise salad (odds ratio 4.2, 95% confidence interval 1.4–12.6), suggesting an incubation period of 12–96 hours. The initial respiratory signs of food-borne streptococcal pharyngitis outbreaks could delay the identification of the vehicle of transmission. This could be particularly problematic in the event of deliberate contamination.

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