Italy Travel Alert

January 22, 2008

The Italian government has a crisis on it's hands regarding one of Italy's best known foods and exports. A heards of buffalo which produce milk for the production of Mozzarella cheese are infected with Brucellosis. It is a contagious bacterial disease which can cause livestock to have abortions, infertility and ultimately reduced milk production. It can be passed on to humans through food and can cause fever. However, the milk itself is safe if it is pasteurised. The government is expected to cull about 32,000 of the animals in the coming months and will do so with armed police. It is believed that doctors responsible for testing and putting the infected animals down, have not done so because of threats from the mafia. (Source- BBC - PROMED

December 24, 2007 - Last week there were 7 confirmed cases of meningococcal meningitis in several town in the province of Treviso. Those ill were between the ages of 15-29. Three of the victims have passed away. Most of the victims hailed from Latin America and had attended a dance. The Ministry of Health dispatched over 50,000 doses of a vaccine to be administered to inhabitants between the ages of 15-29. CHildhood vaccination is mandatory in Veneto. There was also a 25 year-old student from Padua University infected who had spent December 15-16th in his hometown of Conegliano Veneto. There has been no connection made between the student's case and the other seven  who were infected.

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